Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the techno-gift

what do you get the girl who has everything? the girl who maybe needs some organization in her life?

well, that's easy! one of the season's hottest items: the Blackberry.

(for those of you who are very confused, this is to hold yarn for knitting so that your ball of yarn does not go off on its own attracting dust bunnies. the original pattern is here, but i left off the stem and made the starting loop in the lid big enough for the yarn to be threaded through (where the sticks are, it was a last minute photoshoot) oh, and i added a leaf)

(for those of you looking for consistency, this is very old technology. although i have never seen one crocheted before, apparently my great-grandmother had a plastic one shaped like a beehive (from Beehive yarns no doubt) that she used to hold her white yarn when she crocheted doilies. Not enough consistency? this is one of my hand-made Christmas presents, in this case, for my best friend. She loved it and had a great time comparing it with my brother's BlackBerry. she decided hers had better features, and he showed her that when you undid two of the buttons, it was then a "BlackBerry Flip")

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow.... Snow....SNOW

"I want to wash my face and hands in ... snow... snow"

Snow is so totally AWESOME! see how many times i went around the urn? this was after the second time mom untangled me! I did not want to go back inside, i kept hopping back out the door when mom had brought me in. oh well, mom has promised that i can go out again tomorrow morning as a "christmas treat". hmm, i wonder what that is?

Happy Hopping! Baz

Sunday, December 21, 2008

attack of the dopplegangers

I was in Toronto this weekend (along with the rest of the world) visiting some friends and going to the theatah (snooty accent required) with my mom and cousin. We saw the "Sound of Music" of "How do you solve a problem like Maria" fame. The winner of the show and the girl who came in second split the role, so we saw the girl who came in second, Janna, who is, by all opinions, the better singer. It was really good! It was interesting so see how different it was from the film version. The big switches were that Baroness Schraeder sings with Max, twice, "my favourite things" is a duet between the Mother Superior and Maria, and the song in the thunderstorm is the "lonely goatherd", which admittedly, makes more noise to drown out the sounds of the storm. but enough about that!

The real reason for this post is the number of people I know that I thought I saw this weekend, that turned out not to be that person at all. Dopplegangers abounded.

The first was in the subway. I was with my best friend who is visiting from victoria, and i was convinced that the guy walking a bit ahead of us in the great trek to switch subway lines was Pat, a fellow grad student. The hair was right, the walk was right, the black hoodie was right, even the gestures and facial hair. i just couldn't see his face, because he was ahead of me. I almost followed him onto the wrong train just to see, but at the last moment, he looked my way, and the face was totally wrong. even my friend agreed with me that he looked remarkably like Pat, except the face. so weird.

Then, in the Eaton's Centre (yes, the one in t.o. is still called that) I saw a girl who looked very much like a friend i had gone to england with, on the other escalator. It looked so much like her, same hair colour, skin tone, height, her face even looked much the same, but it was just a little different than i remember. also, this girl had on a bright red coat and a purple beret, and i had always been trying to get my friend out of black and neutrals to no avail. That was really what convinced me that it wasn't her, but it may very well have been her, I haven't seen her in 4 years. I was way too chicken to yell out her name as she passed on the escalator though, just in case it wasn't her. shyness wins again!

I also saw a few other people that looked like people I know from various places, but have never really talked to, so i couldn't tell if they were dopplegangers or not, but the main convincing factor was always that the person in question was supposed to be on the other side of the country right now, so it was more likely that they were look-alikes.

Lesson for the day: If you want to meet your doppleganger, go to downtown Toronto around Christmastime.

In other doppleganger news, my father actually met his once when he was a kid. It was another kid in town's cousin from the states. He says it was really weird to meet someone who looks very much like you. It wasn't really an experience he would like to have a second time.

hmm, maybe searching out your doppleganger is a bad thing, and messes with the space-time continuum or something. cool. of course, what would really mess with the universe is if my dad found someone with the same name as he has, "Earlby". I am convinced that, like the Highlander, "there can be only one".

Thursday, December 18, 2008

internet gods smile on the stupid

i am making my christmas prezzies this year. mainly because i have no money.
i thought it would be fun. a challenge. it has caused nothing but stress.

my carefully thought out measurements resulted in a product that was far too small, requiring a border to be added. since it was reversable, that required two borders. since i had cut out enough for two at one time, that required 4 borders. they ended up looking ten times cuter that they would have, but added ten times more work. and took up more fabric that i had originally allocated. note to self, when in doubt, add a contrasting border.

next, because i was sewing something in a denim weight fabric for my brother, the machine was also rather stressed (although i wasn't particularly, the fabric was awesome for a curved hem!). when i started on the next project, the needle promptly broke, having had enough of the heavy fabric. i replaced the needle and continued on my merry way.

then the real trouble started.

the thread started going loose at the front and getting tangled up in itself and actually broke numerous times. i adjusted the tension. no difference. i changed the fabric i was sewing. i rethreaded the machine 5 times. i rethreaded the bobbin. nothing. by this time the machine was also skipping stitches. i thought, that's it, the machine is dead! no more sewing and half finished projects all over the place! argh!

then, i went on the internet and typed in "sewing machine skipping stitches". the first thing that came up was a discussion forum where a girl said "my needle broke and i replaced it and now it is skipping stitches!" the internet gods are smiling on me today!

the reply was, "did you put the needle in the right way round? the flat part is supposed to go at the back."


i thought that looked funny.

gimme a break, i have only broken one other needle in my time, and that was in my thumb, so someone else dealt with replacing it.

so, now i am sewing away at top speed, finishing things remarkably quickly. the amount i still have left to do is stressing me out a bit. but weirdly, somehow it is still fun.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pre-Winter in Ontario, some photos and stats

Ok, so this is not my house, this is the playhouse at my cousin's in Muskoka on December 10th. that playhouse (which is now used as a shed, but still called the playhouse) is at least 5'x6', and about 7 1/2' at the roof peak, which makes that snow, well, really deep.

because of this snow my cousin decided to come down early for christmas. she arrived yesterday. that is all of 14 days early for christmas!!!! well, ok, she needed to be here for the 19th because we have tickets to see the sound of music on the 20th, but ten days is still early! and she will stay after christmas as well. its going to amount to at least a 3 week visit for christmas, if not more. it all depends on how much we get on each other's nerves and how the weather is. this from a cousin who can barely tolerate us invading her space for a long weekend.
my mom assures me that she has mellowed out alot now that she doesn't have to worry about her mother anymore. i certainly hope so!

her dog is certainly more attached to her and whines and cries for at least half an hour when she leaves the house. last night, since cousin was in a guest room and not in her regular room, we tried to have the dog sleep with me. he cried at the door even though i let him up on the bed with me! he was quickly turfed out the door. i was in no mood for whiny dogs because of this:

ain't it purdy? i picked mom up from the aesthetician yesterday and slipped on her front step when i was leaving. i of course landed on that step. i didn't hit any other part of my body, just my lower back on the edge of the step. the bruise is just over my spine right now, i anticipate that it will grow, and i will get at least a month out of it. i like how it is sort of heart-shaped. i don't think i injured anything seriously, just gave myself a big painful bruise.

these are the joys of winter in ontario. according to mom, everyone is getting yak trax for christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas

Mom insisted we put up the little tree yesterday, so up it is! We have a small artificial tree that sits in the familyroom window (hence the difficulty in getting a good picture at this time of day!) We bought it about ten years ago because my mom wanted christmas in the part of the house we use all the time, as well as in the living room. Also, we had so many ornaments that mom decided to put all the kids ornaments on this little tree, and keep the living room tree for the fancy stuff. The best part is that this tree with the fun decorations has white lights, while the tree with the fancy decorations has coloured lights! we have to keep the balance somehow!

There was much controversy over buying this little tree. We are a real tree family, we go out to a christmas tree lot every year and cut down our very own spruce. since we have been in university, it has become my brother's and my christmas ritual to go out to the tree lot as soon as he arrived home for christmas after exams and wander around in the cold for hours punctuate by cries of "how about this one?" "no! look, its all crooked on one side!" and whines of "carry me!" from my brother. my older, much taller and bigger brother. it is a fun bonding time for me and my brother. we usually end up with a pretty good tree, always a little fuller in one spot than another, perfect for the corner it goes into. the worry about the little artificial tree was that mom would think an artificial tree was better, and that we would no longer have the real tree. that would be bad. it is not christmas without the real tree. i wake up and go in the living room in the middle of the night just to smell the tree.

but, in the ten years that we have had the little tree, mom has not given up on the real tree. in fact she is embarassed that we have an artificial tree at all, and is quick to assure any visitors that this is just to get her early christmas "fix" and that the real tree will be bought soon and will be in the living room.

Monday, December 8, 2008


so, sent in my first two chapters to my advisor. here is his, very verbose answer:

"Overall this is the best chapter yet. I am, and you should be, encouraged by the intro and this chapter. Before amending any of the points suggested I would advise pressing on with the next chapter. Have a good Christmas."

this is as effusive as the praise gets, i think.

i assume i should be encouraged?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


finally! i can show this masterpiece! it was a gift, so i had to wait until i actually got around to sending it, and then had to wait until she got it, but the QWP has received her parcel, so now i can disclose all!

a fitted quilted tea cozy! isn't it brilliant! its even lined and had a binding! oh i broke out the big guns for this one. here is how it does up at the back:

i made it entirely from my stash (oh to have my stash again! even if it is mostly fun animals prints for pyjamas and shorts!) it does up with snaps i also found in my stash, and judging by the label, i think they are from the 50s or 60s. the fish fabric was actually my test fabric for the machine quilting class i took awhile ago, so it has some pretty funky quilting on it!

ok, so this idea is not entirely mine, but the finessing to get it to fit the bodem, that was all me and my trusty shears. if you are so inclined to make one, directions for a quilted tea cozy for a regular teapot are on planetjune. (while you are over there, check out her crochet animals, so cute! when i have time =sigh=)

i was so frustrated with not being able to create while writing the thesis that i just stormed into my room one sunday and grabbed my sewing machine and slammed it on the table and started sewing. and no one said anything until it looked like the project was going well, then they were all excited and curious about what i was making. hmm, you think i was a little scary?

oh the shame!

i hang my head in shame. i must confess that i have recently left the house wearing track pants. oh the horror! my ex-roomates are all gasping in shock right now.
i feel that track pants are something you wear around the house, or while actually doing some kind of physical activity. not something you can leave the house in to go, say, grocery shopping. i see enough university students wandering around in pyjama bottoms to know what message this look projects to the rest of the world. the fact that it is a very accurate message for my life right now is beside the point. you are meant to dress for the job you want, not the, uh, situation you are in now. i feel better about myself if i at least am wearing presentable clothing when i leave the house. especially in guelph. you just know you are going to meet someone you know. or be introduced to your mom's really hot bank teller. yeah, that sends a message, at the bank with your mom in the middle of the day, wearing track pants.

because of issues with getting laundry done in this house (its a b&b, there are always about five loads worth of sheets and towels on the laundry room floor) i have been hanging out writting my thesis in track pants, mainly because they are comfy and warm in my basement cave. the problems arise when i have to leave that cave and go out into the real world. i would normally just exchange them for a pair jeans or other pants, but all of those are dirty this week (and yes, i would pull them out of the laundry basket, but someone threw my slippers in there during a quick clean-up and now my laundry smells like feet) so, i am left with the track pants. which is fine if i am just picking my dad up from work, but the other day, i actually went to church choir practice in navy blue track pants that say "UVIC" across the ass. that was a new low.

and don't get me started on the fact that i spent all day yesterday in my jimmy-jams.

i need to get out of this house!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

To post or not to post or what to post?

I want to post something new, mainly because the previous post is now starting to annoy me. So introspective and ever so slightly smarmy-trout-faced.* But what to post? my brain is numb from writting my thesis and it isn't even anywhere near done! i have an intro and one chapter. a grand total of (drum roll please...) 46 pages. hmm, not quite the 70-100 i need. and i haven't a clue where to go from here. literally. no. idea. my brain just doesn't want to write it anymore! oh how i wish i had gone for the major paper instead of the thesis, i could be done by now! of course then i would be on year 4 of a 1 year masters instead of year 4 of a two year masters. oh the shame of the procrastinator knows no bounds!

The problem is, I have proved my point. There is no more to say, because I have said it -

=blink= =blink= =lighbulb!=

I just realized that it is ok if i have made my point in one chapter! I can make a different point in the second chapter! oh huzzah! happy day! cartwheels and lollypops!

I know most of you are shaking your heads and sighing about "silly C___", but i honestly did not figure that out until two seconds ago while writing this post! Two different points in my thesis? The novelty! (don't flip out, they aren't that different, only in my hyper-specific compartmentalization of things, oh perfectionism).

ok, gotta go and write stuff now while i remember what i was going to s-
oh damn! its gone!

oh well, supper time! bye for now!

*oops! almost forgot my footnote (i do that alot), "smarmy-trout face" is that look like you are a snob sucking lemons (nose in air, lips pursed, eyebrows up, air of superiority). It is a look that says, "Hmph! That is an incredibly inferior way to do that, my way is better (ie. I am better) and always will be, you cannot change my mind". It also says, "I am not the idiot, you are! Clearly the world works my way and you were foolish not to have noticed" Not to be confused with the "Really?" look which is quite similar, but with less snob and more "you're a childish idiot"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Missed opportunity

So, when I was in my last years of university, i lived at home with my parents and so was able to walk to and from the university every day (or more likely every class, lunch at home was sooo much better than at school!). In one of my philosophy classes, there was a boy with Buddy Holly horned rimmed glasses who sat close to me in class and walked home the exact same way as me after class. He was always just a little ahead of me walking across the green, but i always met him at the traffic light while we waited to cross the street.

Now, at the traffic light, there were three different ways you could choose to walk home and end up in the exact same spot. 1. You could go straight ahead and then turn right and cut through a parking lot and alot of side streets. 2. You could turn right and then turn left down a catwalk beside the veterinary fraternity, or 3. You could turn right and walk to the corner and then turn left down the next street (boring!)

So, I always chose option 2 and boy with glasses always chose option 1. eventually there was also an indian girl who was also in our class who always chose option 3. So we all walked home, together but seperate, every time we had class, so at least twice a week, for an entire semester. We never said a word to each other.

After the first few weeks i started to think it was kind of funny, because glasses guy was always a bit ahead of me, almost like he was running away. (i'm really not that scary!) The indian girl only ever caught up with us sometimes, i think she usually stayed to study, so she really doesn't feature in this story. So, I used the opportunity to test a theory that i had wondered about ever since i was little, which way was the shortcut?!! Nothing like using unwitting people for distance experiments! So I started to match my pace to his as we kicked off from the curb at the traffic light and then maintained that pace as i followed my route. I met him at the bottom of the hill where our routes crossed again. We acknowledged this meeting with a smile, but hurried on our separate ways. This went on for a few more weeks, and the then the indian girl started off from the traffic light with us as well for a couple of days, and i met her where our routes crossed.

Conclusion: No Shortcut.

But, by this time half the semester had gone by, i couldn't switch my route to his cause i might be following him, i couldn't switch my route to hers cause, well, it was boring. We were set in our ways, and still had never said anything to each other. I didn't want him for a boyfriend or anything, it was just getting ridiculous that we basically walked home together every day and didn't talk to each other. I am a great fan of the group gab on the way home from school, but somehow was never able to say hello to him. We had just let it go too long.

Then, one day in class, i ended up sitting in the same row as him, three chairs between us, but no people, and the prof asked for an example of something. glasses guy answered him with "Its like if you see the same person every day and never say anything to them, even though they might turn out to be a really cool person, or a friend." He quickly glanced over at me out of the corner of his eye. I went bright red, i had trouble breathing, what he said wasn't even an example of the concept being discussed, he just obviously needed to get it out there. I wanted to appologize to him and tell him that i had wanted to talk to him the entire semester but was too shy. I also wanted to point out how he was wrong, but i realized that would be a bad thing and not worth mentioning. After class he almost bolted out the door so that we didn't meet at the traffic light.

The next class, he brought his girlfriend.

When I think about it now, maybe he thought I was a snob and wanted to prove that he was cool and worthy of being spoken to. At the time, i took it as "you had your chance, that's it". There were only one or two classes after that, and our walks home were very awkward, his girlfriend met him after class, and then i REALLY couldn't talk to him.

But you know what? He never said a word to me either.

So my plan since then has been to at least smile and say hello to everyone I recognize. It is hard sometimes to get up to courage to say anything more, but next time i see them, it might be a little bit easier. And if I don't see you, sorry, sometimes I am off in lah-lah land, just yell my name really loud and come running like the Queen of West Procrastination does!

Oh, and note to self, don't do experiments with real people in the real world. (Aw, c'mon, its fun!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


ok, so yesterday i had a flu shot.  i forgot about the little bandaid until this morning.  i ripped it off and immediately put on my bathrobe.  Then i felt a cold wet trickle down my arm, which of course didn't get very far because i have a very absorbent robe, so i couldn't even investigate what had trickled down my arm.  do you think it was my flu goo?  did it wait almost 24 hours behind the bandaid and then decided to make a break for it? ewwww.  or maybe it was just a phantom flu fluid feeling and it was never really there at all?  hmmm, very weird birthday juju.

Happy Birthday To Me?

Yup, that is me! My first birthday party, and looking decidedly disconcerted. set me up for a lifetime of birthdays that never quite added up to expectation. I try to stop expecting, but that never really works. don't get me wrong, i have had some wonderful birthdays, and some great times, but there is always something that goes slightly wrong and colours the memory. i really don't know what i expect to happen, i can never decide on what i want my birthday to be, but i always expect magic!
surprisingly, the problem has quite often been the padding on my mother's dining room table. she has this quilted padding that has always been there to protect the table from spills and hot things. i have lost count of the number of birthdays when one kid has noticed this and accused me of having baby changing pad on the table, and that becomes the only thing that anyone can discuss for the entire meal. it was usually the kid who was worried about the coolness of attending my party and so had to make themselves look cooler than me on my birthday. nothing like feeling like a loser on your birthday.
this could so easily turn into a list of slights and bad manners (on the part of some "friends"), and people being too "cool" to participate in the activities, but i am trying to avoid that today, so lets go through some of the fun times, which have mainly happened with my best friends. They never make me look uncool, because they insist on all acting crazy and to hell with the rest of them!
one time in high school, Lindsay and Amanda made a monopoly board out of my neighbourhood, each square of the sidewalk was one square on the board, and Linds went around on roller blades as banker. sooo much fun! unfortunately it got cold and we had to cut the game short to go inside, but it was a really cool idea and we had fun inside warming up too!
other years we have gone out to dinner wearing silly costumes, and one year in university we were too busy to celebrate anyone's birthday, so we had a mass birthday party and played all the traditional games, pin the tail on the donkey, charades, musical chairs, telephone, and the infamous present exchange where we regifted anything that we had received as a present but had no need for, like a candle shaped like a rock, or weird soap flakes.
my birthdays in victoria were a bit more hit and miss, first year we went out to a club and one friend hit me and knocked me down in her mad flight away from a homeless man on the way in, so i started the night with a sprained ankle, then some girl almost died of a drug overdose at our table. fun times. the next year i have no idea what i did for my birthday, other than clean the kitchen floor on my hands and knees (it really needed it). and then the year after that, we all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant/brew pub and had a grand time. the fun happened later that night when my roomate and i vied for the bathroom when we realized we were alergic to unpasturized beer, and one of my friends ended up in the hospital for a week. great time had by all!
Well, i guess if my birthdays aren't exactly up to my expectations, they are at least fairly memorable! I am planning on making the most of today, and hopefully get together with friends this weekend for some real celebrating!
Happy Birthday to Me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Read This!

Kate Beaton has written a very interesting essay on Remembrance Day.  You should read it here.

In Flanders Fields

Remembrance Day is not a holiday in Ontario.  Apparently it was when my parents were growing up, but hasn't been in my lifetime, not sure why, gov't workers get it off though.  So, we always has a special day in school, where each class crafted a wreath to put on stage during our assembly and we heard stories from veterans and kids reading their grandparents' stories of war.  When I was little, one of the schools I went to was Col. John McCrae Public School.  Yes, the Col. John McCrae, of In Flanders Fields fame.  He was born in Guelph, his birthplace is now a museum.  When I attended the school, as a member of the choir, we went down to the memorial at the museum and sang Oh Canada and occasionally, In Flanders Fields.  I can still recite the poem word for word.  Our little service was usually attended by the veterans who couldn't get around very well or couldn't deal with the crowds at the cenotaph downtown.  

So now that I am home, I suggested to mom that we go down to McCrae House today for Remembrance Day services.  Unfortunately, this year, the school has been torn down and is being rebuilt bigger and better, and the school has been relocated to an old school building a few kilometers away.  In recent years, as veterans have died, the service at the McCrae Memorial has become the Remembrance Day assembly for John McCrae school.  So, now that the school is no longer there, there was no service at 11:00 today.  

Alot of people still showed up at McCrae House though, there were about 25 of us, and apparently every year they have the local Ham Radio operators society set up a station in the museum for the weeks around Remembrance Day, so my mom and I stayed and looked around the museum and then stood for 2 minutes of radio silence and then the woman who was operating it read In Flanders Fields.  Then radio thank yous flooded in from around the world.  It was really neat, and we were quite impressed with the number of young people who showed up.  

The pictures are from my Great Uncle George Abraham's scrapbook from WWI.  He was a Second Lieutenant in the 37th Flying Squad pictured above.  This picture is an aerial view of France taken while on a mission.

If anyone had a relative in the First World War, you might be able to find their attestation papers (enlisting documents) on the Collections Canada website.  Just hit search and look for them.  I have found my dad's grandfather, Harry Petter, who had just moved to Canada with his young family and felt it was his duty to go back and fight.  When he got back after the war, he was given a job as a groundskeeper at the University of Guelph, but his family remained in Colpoys Bay, which is just outside of Wiarton (Willy) Ontario, which is a three hour drive away today.  He hitchhiked home every two or three weeks to see his family and bring his pay home to his wife.  I have also just now found my mom's Great Uncle John Abraham's papers (George's brother), but I still can't find Uncle George's.

I hope you all were able to find time today to contemplate the tremendous gift of peace our soldiers have given us, and continue to fight for.

Monday, November 10, 2008

#@$%^ stupid snow!

so, it has been snowing all day, and there is nothing to show for it.  There was snow on the ground this morning when i woke up and it wasn't snowing, but now that it has been snowing all day, there is nothing.  Not that it has been snowing hard or anything, if it was rain, i doubt you would even know it was raining.  Maybe that is why it decided to be snow, so it would get noticed.  It looks kinda like giant dust moats floating around outside, or white midgy flies.  i mean, the little weatherman on our weather station doesn't even register that it is snowing outside.  he seems cheerfully optimistic that it is a bright sunshiny day.  no snowman icon for him! 

I still have mixed feelings over whether i really want it to snow or not.  i seem to have forgotten all my Ontario winter snow survival know-how in my three years of snowless victoria "winters".  I don't even know how i feel about having to buy winter boots for the first time in a very long time.  I want real boots now that i no longer have to worry about being cool in high school and wear thinsulated hiking boots. (weird how those things lasted me all through university)  but i also need something stylish, cause there is no way i am going to show up at an office wearing my awesome red wool coat and cloche hat with sorel moonboots even if they are warmy-squarmy!  and yes, i just realized i am still worried about being cool.  It comes from a lifetime of my mother picking out my winter gear.  (i actually used to swap my snowsuit with my friend at school in grade one.  her grey snowsuit with yellow piping and green storebought hat and mitts was so much cooler than my pink and purple snowsuit with handknit pink hat and idiot mittens.  they made us stop swapping when they suddenly discovered lice, not on us, but in general. [my mom dressed me entirely in pink and purple as a child, but my favourite outfit was a pair of grey pants with a yellow cardigan and a red and blue blouse that i wore with a red newsboy cap, the height of fashion! i was so excited when she bought it for me, even then, i knew that to be cool you couldn't dress in barbie's colours])

Lunch Time at the W's

Scene: Mom, C and Dad eat lunch at a round table facing a window.  Table is set with brown flowered tablecloth, lunch is carrot soup and crackers with sheep cheese with lavender.  Outside, snow is falling lazily, it doesn't stay on the ground.

An errant gust of wind blows up a dust devil of leaves

Mom: A Wild and Wooly November, just like our wild and wooly girl!

C glowers and raises an eyebrow

Mom: Well, you can be quite outrageous sometimes when you want to be.  And I love that. My November baby.

C rolls her eyes, goes back to spreading cheese on her cracker.  Takes a bite of the cracker, crumbs fly. 
C: Gah! =giggles in disbelief=

Mom: What happened?

C: I got crumbs in my eye! (runs to the bathroom)

Dad: Well, she should stick to round crackers, their crumbs don't fly off like square crackers' do. (pops the last round cracker into his mouth with a piece of ham)

C sits back down

Mom: Your father thinks you should stick to round crackers, but he's eaten them all.

C glowers at Dad
C: I don't like the round crackers.  Hey!  Where's my meat? I had half a piece of ham right here when I left!

Dad: Muy mon't mow. ("I don't know" with mouth full of round cracker and ham) =starts to chuckle with mouth full=

C: There are two whole pieces on the plate!  Why did you steal my half eaten one?

Thump from a small grey dwarf rabbit on the "oriental" carpet.

Mom: Aw, there's Granny's sweet baby bunny.  Isn't she cute.  Give her your apple.

End Scene.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"How's your Mum doing?"

4 little words with so much meaning.
At church on Sunday, it means, "Why are you here and she is not? Why hasn't she been here for the last 3 weeks?" This is, of course said with concern and love, just in case something is wrong, but still lightly, and can replied to with a breazy, "Oh she's fine," (and an embarassed inner confusion over the fact that mom really isn't fine, she has a busted knee, but the reason she is not in church is because she decided to go on her annual shopping weekend with the girls, brief mental assessment that they kind of negate each other and "fine" is an alright answer since we are starting to process into the church)
When my mom says it to one of her friends, it means, "We are sisters in looking after our aging parents, I hope she still has some quality of life and that you haven't had to proceed too far into the horror of the medical system." It contains concern for her friend's mother, but also concern for her friend, remembering how hard it was on herself to look after my grandmother.

I didn't think I would have occasion to use those 4 words in the way that my mom says it to her friends until I was her age, but I used them this morning. My childhood friend is back in the neighbourhood this week because her mom (my mom's friend) had major surgery to get rid of the cancer in its earliest stages. They are pretty sure they got it all before it spread, but it was a major surgery. She has come home from out east to help look after her for a couple of weeks until her mom has recovered a bit more.

This is not the first of my friends who has had to come home to look after her mother. I even moved back to Ontario to be closer to my parents when something major happens, and already, my father needs surgery (minor). We are far too young to be having parents that are falling apart. My mom looked after her ailing 90 year old mother. Will I be looking after my ailing 70 year old parents?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This is how we roll

My mother and I have spent the last few days with her cousin helping her to prepare for her mother's passing. My Great-Auntie turned 99 years old on Sept 13th, and promptly started a series of strokes that have had her hospitalized for maybe the 4th time in her life. She will likely not leave the hospital this time. Our cousin also broke her foot (which we think stressed auntie out and might have caused one of the strokes), so while my mom was helping our cousin with her mom, i raked leaves, dug up the gladioli, put the winter tires in her car, and looked after the banana brain dog (i also saved a salamander caught in the snowstorm). I am not good at comforting people, so I do stuff instead. If you are also this type of person, here are a few things you might take note of if ever in this situation:

1. Inform the extended family of Auntie's condition. Make sure to save on typing in all the email addresses by replying to one email and adding all the addresses to that. Don't bother erasing a second cousin's original email message which contains his political opinion. Watch the replys flood in and cousin get very confused over strong counter political opinions. Huzzah! Instant family controversy!

2. Hel0p cousin go to funeral home and pre-plan the funeral. Come away with instructions to mark Uncle's grave so they don't dig him up by mistake.
(Step 0 - Mom drove back to Guelph to get her insulin pump fixed and took cousin's car keys with her, so we located the extra set and headed out)
Step 1- Must be done in the middle of the first snowstorm of the year.
Step 2 - Remember where we put the graveyard. Seriously, this is backwoods Muskoka. This is the "old" cemetary. ok, so cousin knew where it was, but we drove down three dirt roads and through a field. Though I must say it is a really pretty spot.
Step 3- Locate stones that mark edge of plot. Did I mention that it was a snowstorm? After a day of rain? Found them in the 3 inch high grass under 2 inches of water and guestimated where Uncle ends.
Step 4 - Drive away wondering how the digger will maneuver around the 19th Century headstones.

3. Drive cousin 1 1/2 hours through the pouring rain for her eye test and exam only to discover that the testing lady didn't bother to show up that day and someone had shot a nail into their eye, so the doctor, the ONLY eye surgeon for the region, had to go give him stitches. In his eye. Ewww! Get rebooked for Wednesday, receptionist refuses to tell if there will be debilitating eyedrops used or not, so I stay on an extra day just in case. Drive 1 1/2 hours again on Wed, this time in freezing temperatures, but the roads were clear and dry (yay) and we got gas for the best price ever! 98.5! high fives to us! then they made us wait just long enough for the eye test that cousin thought it wasn't going to happen, again. Then we drove another 25 min to meet my mom and exchange me for the set of car keys. I am not sure who came out ahead in that deal.

4. Go for lunch at Moxies, proclaim my anti-tomato stance. Apparently allergies are a big thing at Moxies. The manager had to come over and get the specifics on my alergy (of course, my mom answered for me, thanks mom) The manager came over a few more times. Very attentive, he was tall, so he went down on his knees to talk to us. Mom thinks this is wonderful and follows (with her eyes) manager around the restaurant for the rest of the meal to see if he kneels for anyone else. Nope. Just us. Or more specifically, according to mother and cousin, just me. Because as cousin says "Well, he wouldn't be interested in us!" So I get a lecture on how I need to "flirt more" and how I am "afraid of my own power" all the way home. joy! At least this time manager was actually cute. My mother has given me the same lecture over guys who weren't even remotely attractive.

So, basically, we made life interesting and silly for a few days. Cousin called when we got home and auntie now has a private room. Mom thinks this must have something to do with them freaking out the other lady when they were telling auntie it was ok for her to leave us.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Ok, so, I am applying for an archivist job with the fed govt.  You have to take a Situational Judgment test and a Written Proficiency Test.  This is the explanation of the Written Proficiency Test: 
" assess the candidate's ability to communicate in writing; these tests are multiple-choice questions."

ha ha ha ha ha!  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

baby snatching!

My mother loves to steal babies. She is that woman who takes the squealing baby from the frazzled mother at church and bounces him around until he falls asleep. She is also the woman who held onto my cousin Eric's baby son Ethan for a really long time because "she didn't know when she might get to do this again" with a very pointed look at me and my brother, but mostly at me. And of course the fact that Baby E and Co. live in Tennessee, and therefore we only see them at Christmas and once in the summer.

Now my cousin Steph, who lives just over in the next city, has had a beautiful baby boy, Andrew Taylor, who was born September 17, 2008. She has had a very long recovery from the delivery, so today was the first time she felt up to really going anywhere other thatn doctors, so she brought Andrew over to have a visit with me and my mom. I have warned her all through her pregnancy that mom is a baby stealer, and she was actually a little worried when mom kept on saying she "couldn't wait to squeeze him", so when she was getting out of her car at our place i ran out and said, "let the baby stealing commence!"

And it did, I don't think she held him again until right before she left and he needed to be breastfed. 4 hours of baby snatching! of course, it wasn't all mom. I got him right after the first bottle and diaper change was done, and he promptly spewed all down my front. I had to change my shirt and my bra, and try really hard not to puke myself. After a quick change for both of us, we settled in for a long nap and the rest of the bottle. Which is where my mom got this picture. Isn't he sweet? he still has a bit of that new baby alien look, but he is only 3 weeks old, so its allowed. his grandpa thinks he is the most beautiful baby ever.

It was a great afternoon, I will have to go over and visit them again soon. I am so glad I am back in Ontario to see him. I would miss so much just comming in at christmas and then not seeing him again till the summer. I was happy to find that all my babysitting baby skills came back and I was able to feed him and change him (yup, I got the poopy diaper, but they used really cool cloth ones from a diaper service, so it was kinda fun to change him)

anyway, this is a long post, like all of mine seem to be, so I will finish by saying she loved the diaper bag I made her, and couldn't wait to get home to put everything away in it. she of course took one look at the bag and said, again, "are you sure you are going into the right field?"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Update from Baz

my life has been all over the place for the last little while, which is no fun for rabbits.  i have my own room in the basement, (which more than my mom has!), but i am all alone most of the day unless mom is there writing her thesis.  I get dragged upstairs whenever someone comes for a visit (everyone thinks I wonderful tho, so that makes up for it, except my uncle adam, who likes me only on the floor).  

Then, when I was just settling in, they shoved me, cage and all into the car for a 3 1/2 hour drive up to the cottage.  cottage by the way, awesome!  my cage was right in front of the fireplace, so i was nice and toasty, and i was the centre of attention and got to be out of my cage most of the time.  I even got to go outside, and almost made friends with a chipmunk, until it started to scratch its fleas and mom decided it was time for me to go inside.  I even got to check out the beach and play on the rocks.  Then they shoved me back in the car for another 3 1/2 hour car ride back to guelph and the basement.  I have made my displeasure known, I assure you.  Mom was not please with the mess I made of my cage in one night.  

Then this morning, they woke me up, shoved me in the dreaded carrier, and took me to church! Blessing of the animals sunday, so there I was, with a huge old retriever in the pew in front and a corn snake, lizard, and shitzoo in the pew behind me!  there were about 15 other dogs in the church and three cats, plus a large contingent of babies and kids who wanted to pet me!  and grandma wanted to show me off, so I was out of my safe little carrier and on the lead in mom's lap.  but i survived and was blessed and we made it home again, and they let me out of my carrier to play upstairs for awhile, so I guess it was ok.

anyway, that is all for now, there are magazines to nibble upon, and fringey carpet to chew.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

peaceful. easy feeling

=big contented sigh= i am in my spiritual home this week. i am at a cottage in tobermorry ontario with my parents. it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. i will post pictures when i get back, but believe me when i say that i was always disappointed with the ocean after grouwing up going to the georgian bay. so much wilder and more interesting that the ocean. of course, it doesn't have quite the same marine life diversity, but it makes up for it in shipwreks and rare terrestrial landscapes. we spent yesterday in a place that has five different terrains right in one spot. it even had an alvar and a fen, which are things that can only be found in sweden, estonia, and the great lakes. so cool!

ok, gotta go, i am at the library and my dad is waiting.
oh! i love it here! i never want to leave. hmm, this is a national park, maybe they are in need of a historian?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Snip Snip Snip

Ok, so, as you can tell, I just got my hair cut.  I never know when I get it cut if I actually like it or not.  It takes me awhile, and then I get used to it just as it needs to be cut again.  Then it gets long and shaggy and I hate my hair for a couple months until I get back to Ontario to my hairdresser.  But, now that I am back in Ontario, I can get regular haircuts like a normal person again. Hmm.  Anyway, my hairdresser and I had a great chat, and she and my mom love my hair, so maybe if I can style it myself and it looks less choppy I will love it more.  Of course, we are going away to a cottage for the week, and there is no bloody way I am bringing a straight iron up there, so I will be back to ponytails and hairclips for the rest of the week.  Or I could just rock the dreaded "Lion Hair" for awhile.  But there will be photographic evidence, so perhaps not.

Will let you know how the cottage goes, no internet access for the week, what is a girl to do? ("Maybe her THESIS????!!!")

anyway, tea time, and my dad is calling me a "Princess of the Pharoahs" which of course reminded everyone that my cousin used to call me his "Egyptian Princess" when we were little and I had long black hair and straight across bangs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

oh life plan, where did you go?

i have been having a really hard time concentrating on my thesis lately.  there are way too many other fun things going around in my head, so no room for statistics and thoughts of an academic variety.  what is in my head you ask? plans for extremely fun craftiness!  i am having trouble sleeping at night because i am working out how to sew a pair of slipper socks, or how to sew a quilt, or how to quilt a quilt.  i have 3-D diagrams worked out in my head for a dozen projects, none of which i can work on right now because my mom does not approve and it is kinda hard to hide the sewing machine, it makes alot of noise, and i make alot of mess.  so instead i hide the fact that i am reading fun craft books rather that books about my thesis topic.
i discussed this problem with my cousin on the phone last night, and she said "Are you sure you are going into the right career?"  Aaargh!  no!  i am not sure!  but i have all this schooling behind me and i really do enjoy researching, but ideally i want to be married and have kids and have a part-time job at a museum and the time to be crafty.  there, i said it, but that doesn't  help me in the short term!  i need a thesis written and a job to go to when it is done.  somewhere in there i also have to meet a man and actually show that i am interested in him, and not run away when things start getting serious.  Aaargh!   

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Seaman's Long Stockings and Quebec Helmets

Apparently the Red Cross is putting together an anniversary thing (exhibit? book? not sure, ma didn't quite have the details)  Anyway, they were looking for old Red Cross stuff, and my aunt remembered she had this knitting booklet, and for some reason it is at our house instead of with the Red Cross ladies (no idea why, my house is a Vortex tho).  This is a bonus for me, cuz i get to see what kind of knitting was required for our forces in WWII.  The booklet was published by the Yellow Pages in November 1940.
Along with patterns for socks, mitts, sweaters and "helmets" (which i assume are variations on the balaklava, the "Aero Helmet" seems to have ear holes as well) there are also patterns for a "Knitted toe cap" for going over the end of a cast (hmm, this pattern might still be useful) and Ladies knickers, "specially designed to slip on for extra warmth".  I guess if you were putting them on over your nunders i suppose it would be ok, but otherwise, ..... knitted wool underwear =shudder=.
Interestingly the patterns are only shown in one size each, so either everyone in the military was the same size, or women in 1940 were supposed to know how to increase the patterns.  I'd hate to be the guy with the big head on the day when they hand out the "one size fits all" "helmets", or sweaters for that matter!

I love libraries!

I have been home for all of two weeks and i have been to my local public library twice and the university library once, and i plan on going again tonight to both of them because books i requested yesterday are in! i love libraries!  i am anticipating the arrival of these requested books like a kid awaiting my mail order x-ray glasses!  joy!  I just love that all of these wonderful books are available to me even though i can't afford to buy them right now.  sometimes i forget that libraries exist and feel sad that i can't experience these books firsthand, and then i remember the library, and all is well with the world, i just might have to wait my turn to get the new and wonderful books.
i have ordered all kinds of crafty books from the public library, interweave knits best sweaters and joelle hoverson's last minute patchwork gifts have arrived and i will pick them up tonight on my way home from picking my dad up at work.  fingers crossed amy butler's in stitches arrives soon!
the university books are a little less fun, but i discovered that u of goo has clifton carbin's deaf heritage in canada a book i always had to order through interlibrary loans (illo) from alberta when i was in victoria.  unfortunately, the newest book on the deaf is not available here, and i have to pay $25 for illo because i am not a student here.  my mom suggested i try to get it through illo with the public library instead.  see? i love libraries!
i also love that so many people i know are studying library sciences, so i know that libraries have a future! hurrah!  i wish i could do backflips!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Son of Ike

ok, so, ontario seems to get the tail end of every storm going, so of course, we received back to back visits this weekend.  It rained steadily from 2pm Saturday afternoon until sunday morning due to the end of an unnamed Pacific storm (I shake my fist at you Victoria), and then it was really windy all day Sunday until it started raining around 6pm sunday night due to Hurricane Ike, or, since it was just a tropical depression by then, my father called it "Son of Ike" in the same voice as one would announce the title of a b-movie horror flick.  Anyway, this gross rainyness was not accompanied by colder weather, but by heat and humidity, so much so that my dad's indoor weather station said we were at 95% humidity inside the house.  The floor felt wet when you walked on it and you could not dry off after a shower.  gross.  To top it off, my brother in Toronto lives in a place where the laundry is accessible only by an outdoor staircase to the basement, which he slipped and fell down sunday morning and is now suffering from a very sore back and bum.  Poor guy has to bring a pillow to work next week.   

The weather everywhere seems to be a-typical this year, i guess we can expect some more of this weirdness.  I hope the violent storms settle down a bit now, the Caribbean can't take much more.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wherein C gets all crafty

Well, it actually proved more difficult to remember where i had put my camera than it was to find the usb cable for it, but finally, my craftiness can be documented and broadcast to the whole world.  
As some of you may know, i have been expecting the imminent arrival of a new cousinlet and had prepared for this wonderful occasion by sewing my cousin an Amy Butler "nappy bag" before i left Victoria.  I chose Amy Butler nigella passion vine in celery in home dec weight for the exterior and lotus green oxford stripe for the changing pad, sorry i don't know the name of the interior fabric.  I thought the home dec fabric was stiff enough for the bag, so i didn't add the canvas layer or any extra interfacing.  I found a towel on sale that was the exact colour of orange as in the stripe on the fabric, so i used that as the terry cloth and didn't put a layer of batting in.  I added a magnetic purse snap to keep the bag closed, although it seems really strong, kinda hard to open, but that might be good when it is full, and I added a strap for a key ring.  I also left off the bottle pockets because they seem kind of stupid as they block the side pockets, so i just sewed across the bottom of one side pocket on the front and one on the back so that the pockets were a little shorter and could be used as a bottle pocket as need be.  The bonus is that I have enough fabric left over to make a purse for myself from the fabric that was cut out of the middle to make the shoulder straps.

The day after I got back home, we got a call from the daughter of family friends inviting us to her baby shower for her baby which is due in two weeks now.  Quite a shock because her mother isn't happy that she isn't married and so hadn't told anybody, her daughter was calling us behind her mom's back.  I used to babysit the girl, but she is around 22 now, has finished her photography course at the community college, and has a good job with an awesome local photographer as studio manager, so it isn't like she is a naughty teenager.  Of course her mother doesn't see any good in the situation, and so is setting about ruining her relationship with her first grandchild before he is even born and there is nothing we can do to talk her out of it.   So we will support our young friend any way we can, and pray that her mother doesn't lose her daughter and grandchildren out of her stubbornness.    

Anyway, we are going the the shower today, and I made the baby a carriage blanket, which now seems to be my signature baby item.  It is from the pattern for the Seija blanket in the Happy Hooker  Stitch and Bitch Nation crochet book, but I always use a different weight of yarn, so I just use the pattern for measurements.  It is a small blanket with a hole two thirds of the way up to put the buckles for the baby carrier or carriage through.  This is the third time I have made it, I have wondered if it is actually useful, I guess I should really ask the people i have given it to previously, but they are both too polite and nice to give me a real answer, so i will continue to make them. 

Just got back from the shower, tons of people there, including her grandma, aunt, mom, and her brothers, so things look much more positive in that regard.  Her brothers are really excited to be uncles, so if nothing else, she will have support from them.  Plus, she loved the blanket! Her mom still seemed reserved, but then she had the same attitude when she told us one of the boys had applied to med school, that woman just can't be happy for her children!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Many Boxes! oh Joy!

yay!  my boxes finally arrived from bc, i am now officially no longer a resident of vancouver island.  i am not sure how i feel about that yet.  at the moment i am just missing living on my own, in an actual bedroom, where my stuff didn't have to stay in boxes in the garage.  i did make a case for having my craft stuff in the house when ma said there might be mice in the garage.  that reminds me i have to re-tape all my boxes.  i opened them yesterday in a mad hope to find my camera cable so i could actually post photos here.  i think i found it, we shall see if it is the right one!  so, hopefully later this afternoon i will have some pics of the pretty things i have created to show here!  
anyway, i guess i had better start working on my thesis, i feel like such a slob, it is 11:30am and i am still in my jammies, and another girl is helping my mother clean the b&b.  i am feeling usurped!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"I sleep in the HALL, reMEMBER?!!!"

Heya!  safe and sound back in Ontariariario (a place to live a place to grow).  Everything seems to have survived the trip, jam and chocolate being the most important!  and The Baz was awesome!  intrepid explorer bunny!  can't wait till she experiences the 3 hour car trip later this month!  I think she was pretty much terrified, she stayed in one spot in her carrier the entire time, well, after the first takeoff, before that she thought it was all fun and games and showed her little white nose to everyone so they could oo and aww at her.  she was much admired when i had to take her out of the carrier in security, everyone stood still and said "Aww, a bunny,"  then they made me drink the entire water bottle i had forgotten about.  apparently the spell of bunny cuteness does not carry over to me.

back at my parent's house, i now sleep in the tv room, which is basically the hallway to the three other rooms downstairs (leading the quote from New Waterford Girl to go through my head).  did i mention it is the TV room?  i tried to go to sleep early last night, but made the mistake of reading a little first.  my dad came downstairs and, without saying anything, turned on the tv and sat down to enjoy himself watching something british on TVO.  i was still speechless, trying to figure out how to tell him i actually wanted to go to sleep, when my mom comes down with tea and cookies, which i can never pass up.  so i ended up watching the show and eating my cookie and drinking my tea in bed, and never said anything until the show ended and my dad showed no signs of turning the "boob tube" off.  then i made the executive decision and pressed the power button, and told him to go to bed, and close doors, and turn lights out so i could go to sleep.  darnit, prima donna wasn't supposed to show herself so early on!

oh well, new day, now i get to try and locate all my stuff and hope that ma has a few drawers somewhere to unpack into!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hello From Baz

I am very upset these days, life is tough for a bunny on the move.  i was in three different houses on sunday and i am now stuck in my little cage in a storage room.  boo.  at least i am allowed out in the backyard, but ma won't let me hide in the awesome fort of trees in the back corner, she is such a party pooper, she even makes me wear a leash!   the added excitement of the backyard is the neighbour's cat, who happened to be sniffing at the other side of the fence i was sniffing at, lucky me it couldn't fit underneath.  

tomorrow i get to go on a plane for the first time, that should be a lot of fun.  5 hours of travel, one plane transfer.  oh joy, i hope my little eardrums don't explode!

anyway, ma will probably write tomorrow night from across the country.  I hope I like my new home in Ontario with the grandparents!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Onward and Upward!

heya!  first post, ummm..... not exactly sure what to do here, but have to get started sometime, so here's the deal:

i foolishly decided to move back to ontario from victoria, bc, where i have been doing my masters in history for the last three years.  everything except my masters thesis seemed to be wrapping up here, so it seemed like a good time, still does, but so much work, especially when i am moving both myself and my bunny, "the baz".

I just finished a move from hell, well not really, i tried to stay positive, but i think that just freaked my roommates out.  please note, never be the last one to leave a rental accommodation, washing walls and the sticky stuff out of cupboards till late at night sucks!  anyway, i suck at things that require strength, like moving furniture, so i just put my head down and stuck to cleaning for three days.  its fun once you get in the groove, and so satisfying to see the impossible stain disappear, two words: magic eraser!

anyway, that is over and i am in limbo for a few days, cause my flight home isn't till the 3rd and we had to be out by the 31st, so i am hanging out with my wonderful friend maryanne and her husband until i leave.  she even let me bring the baz along, which was awesome!  but we had to explain to their landlord why a strange lady was walking a rabbit on a leash in the backyard at 8am!

so i am wrapping up my time here in bc, and there is so much to do! today a bunch of us all went out to elk lake and sat in the sun and paddled a canoe around the very windy lake, that borders on the highway, kinda weird.  anyway,  andrea and lee actually made it in swimming, but maryanne and i totally wimped out, way too cold!  andrea also made me an awesome bag, which she posted a picture on her blog, so she wouldn't give me her blog address until after she saw me today!

tomorrow morning we have to get up bright and early for breakfast with all the other girls in history grad so we can all reconnect before the new year and i can impart my wisdom to the younger ones before i go.  yes, very pompous of me, i know.  i am kinda chuffed though, cause some of the younger girls have actually told me that they value my advice on things grad studenty and that i am a good example, which is awesome, considering one of my work colleagues dubbed me "most likely to punch him in the eye", oh and the fact that i am starting year 4 of a 2 year masters.  "relaxed attitude" seems to be my key message.

ok, better stop now and help maryanne with the custard, can you believe it!  she is making custard for dessert!  yummo!

k, bye!