Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things You Can Do With Blueberries

Mmmmm. Blueberries. Ontario has wild blueberries, which are much different from the cultivated ones.

1. In yogurt.
2. I mix them with raspberries and blackberries and eat them in a bowl.
3. Jam- never made it, but some people love it.
4. Pancakes.
5. Add them to quickbreads.
6. My favorite way is muffins. THIS recipe is close to the one I use, which calls for mashing some of them into the batter. The secret is the sugar/nutmeg (fresh ground) topping which is heaven.

That's all I've got. The heat must be getting to me.
I'm so excited. This lady was featured on the series "The Dales", and when we first met her she had 5 children (I think). She is now the mother of 7, living on a remote farm and she and her husband breed champion Swaledale sheep. This book is brand new, and I can't wait to read about her life in Yorkshire.

The Tour de Fleece has finished. That's my Frankenstein Polwarth all wash and ready to go. While I didn't spin alot in terms of volume, I did have fun with the Fat Cat group on Ravelry, who are so creative and inspirational.  There's always next year, n'cest pas?
Tino seemed happy with the spinning as well.
On Sunday, we went to Stratford, Ontario. Yes there is a river, and yes there is theater. We were there for some shopping and ice cream.
There's this soft-serve place that you can get your cone dipped in flavours- I had vanilla dipped in Cotton Candy, FC had Cherry, and Miss Mew had chocolate dipped in Peanut butter. Yum!
Clawed is growing exponentially, and has fallen in the bathtub, with me in it.  He is fascinated with my I-pod, and I am teaching him the finer point of Euchre 3D.
All those rules have tired him out.

Stay cool, and  fleece out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Ice Cream Flavours

Ice cream- mmmmmmmmm!

1. Baskin-Robbins Daquiri Ice.

2. Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey.

3. Ben & Jerry's Bovinity Divinity- little chocolate cows in it.

4. Honeydew Melon- there was an old General store that used to have it.

5. Dairy Queen soft serve.

6. In England they have soft serve and you can get a big stick of chocolate called a "Flake" in it. Best thing ever, and I have no idea why we don't have it here.

7. Any Bordeaux cherry that has massive cherries in it.

8. Rolo Ice Cream- has mini Rolos in it.

9. Baskin-Robbins Lemon Mousse Royale- very creamy.

10. A really good vanilla with vanilla bean flecks in it- like Haagen Daaz. (Hoggen Doggin)

 I have been motoring along for Tour De Fleece, and have spun several bobbins. I did a crummy 3 ply, and this picture is Polwarth in the "Frankenstein" colour.  So far, so good.

I have frogged a sock several times and have finally settled on a pattern that I can live with. It's been really humid here for the past couple of days, which contributes to my grumpiness.  Okay, I promised myself I wouldn't complain- it just slipped out......
I don't collect Lego, despite having a ton of it in the basement, but I thought this Crazy Cat Lady from the movie was so apropo.

I picked up this cabinet for my dining room- I needed something small to put in there- now to hunt down a small lamp. It was originally used to put a bowl and pitcher, as well as a towel on the rack, in a bedroom.  FC put new knobs on it- I like it.

Tino likes to nap on the windowsill in the sun.....
....while Clawed thinks that he gets fed every time I go in the kitchen. That is Howard's tail behind him.

It's a banner week because Dr. Phil has all new episodes on-

Fleece out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ten On Tuesday-10 Favorite Things to Do On a Summer Staycation

Is it Tuesday already?

1. Enjoy time in the backyard. FC refurbished the pond and now we have a nice spot with a Muskoka chair, and it's just like having my own dock on a lake.
2. Since it's Tour de Fleece, I am spinning and challenging myself with personal spinning goals. I have spun 4 oz every day since Saturday.

3. Go window shopping, Bloor Street West or downtown Oakville is good.

4. Day trips- Stratford, St. Jacobs or Niagara area.

5. Watch a whole series- past years have been Seinfeld, The Two Ronnies, Open All Hours- this year is Breaking Bad.  I may watch Sons of Anarchy again, but the ending really upset me.

6. Plan my knitting project strategy.

7. Read some new books. This has been a problem because there is less than nothing in the bookstores, and I can't stand "Summer Reading" schmaltz.  I just ordered a whackload of books from Awesome.

8. Clean up the basement- an ongoing thing.

9. Do some sewing.

10. Just relax and listen to the birds.

This is pretty much what is happening.  Summer isn't always my favorite time, but this year hasn't been too bad in terms of heat and humidity.  I can only hope it continues.

Clawed is growing so fast.  He likes to play with the big guys, but not always on their terms.  Pretty soon it will be a level playing field.

Tino and Howard aren't sure how a third guy is going to fit on the windowsill.
Fleecin' and fishin' out.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things You Love About Your Home

Let's see if I can get to 10:

1. It is a mid-century backsplit in a nice neighborhood.

2. It has a front porch.

3. It has an eat-in kitchen.

4. I have a nice patio and backyard, with a water feature (being overhauled at the moment...).

5. It has more than doubled in value since we purchased it. (More to do with the insane housing market).

6. I have a separate living room and TV room.

7. I have 4 bedrooms, one of which is used as an office.

8. There are mature trees in the area.

9. I have a separate dining room with French doors.

10. Lots of windows and set back from the street.

This is the back bedroom that FC painted, (Miss Mew's room). My sister gave me the medical table and I made the quilt. I bought the head and footboard from someone on Kijiji.  I like the pared-down look now, no clutter.  I wish I could tell you the rest of the house is like this. Le sigh.
I have finished FC's Holidazed socks.  I used BMFA Socks that Rock Medium weight in Muddy Autumn Rainbow. Nice pattern.
Sorry for the cut-off picture of Clawedikins, but the guy will not stay still.
This is so sad. I bought Clawed a cuddler, but Howard likes it.  Tino decided to get in, and Howard wanted in too. So something that is too small for one, is bursting with 2 in it.  It's not like a Tardis, it isn't bigger on the inside.

Happy Canada Day tomorrow, and Happy 4th of July on Saturday. Which is also the start of Tour de Fleece.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ten On Tuesday-10 Favorite TV Fathers

You know, I have thought about this and I really can't think of 10. Here are a few:
1. The Courtship of Eddie's father, with Bill Bixby. I thought, back in the day, he was just terrific.

2. Herman Munster- loved that guy.

3. Ward Cleaver- though he always scared me when Beaver had to go into his den. Because you just knew the kid was going to get it.

4. Dick Van Dyke- though you didn't see much of Richie.

5. Robert  Reed as Mike Brady. Dig that cool hairdo.

And yes, I did grow up in the '60's and '70's. Any of the recent tv fathers are pretty dumb, especially that Alan Harper- the only reason I would watch Two and A Half Men is for the kid, who is funny. And I left out Bill Cosby- though I did like Fat Albert.  I have to tell you, my own father was NOTHING like any of these guys. He was more the Archie Bunker type.

The big news this week is that the kitten is here. Clawed is the sweetest baby ever, and Tino has been a rock star, playing with him and showing no jealousy. Howard will take a bit more time, because he's hissing a bit, but the good news is that the big guys are getting more wet food because whatever is in the Royal Canin kitten is irresistable.  I'm going to have to find a more economical option because this little fella goes through almost a whole can in a day- plus kibbles. I have nicknamed him "Bobo".

I have also finished the kitchen curtains- really brightens up the room.  I don't know what this obsession with poultry is.

I have a sock finished for FC- and will finish the next one.

I am done plying the Honeybee BFL.

Other than that, the weather has been pretty good, no complaints there.

Fleece out- and purrs from Howard, Tino and Clawed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Summer Projects List

I don't care for that term "Bucket" list- which suggests to me, "STUFF I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE"- kind of morbid, and while I certainly don't plan of leaving this earthly plain anytime too soon, we all know that when you're number is up, what can you really do about it?

So, I prefer "My life enhancing list" or maybe "List of things that will bring joy" - I think it's just a nicer way of putting it.

1. Sew and put up new kitchen curtains. I got some really beautiful heavy cotton with Roosters on it, with a gold background. I also plan to add some black gingham somehow, because my house is kind of country- but with-it. I don't like kitsch, but I do adore anything with farm animals, but it needs to be done in a tasteful way.  I think the gold will add warmth and the rooster colours are happy.

2. Spin for Tour-de-Fleece. I'm all good to go, and hope to have some great handspun yarns for making gifts.

3. Plant a small Gnome garden. Maybe a fairy garden. Something with sparkly lights.

4. Dye some fibre and sock yarn.
5. Knit on my Whitby Gansey. The yarn is here.

6. Do some day-trips. Maybe just go walk along Lake Ontario.

7. A new exhibit at the ROM, Pompeii, the Shadow of the Volcano.  Looks totally cool and interesting.

8. Enjoy sitting on the patio, which I don't think I did once last year.

9. Finish an autumn-themed cross stitch and have it framed.

10. Hate to rush the seasons, but if it gets hot, I'll sure be looking forward to cooler weather.

So that's about it.  I have no vacation plans or anything.  The house tends to eat up time (and money) but I really feel it's our biggest investment, and needs to be maintained and/or improved.  I really love decorating and stuff like that.

How about you guys- any plans and hopes for Summer 2015?

This years peonies- before the sonny-o ran over them with the lawnmower.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Words You Substitute for Swear Words

This is fun, because I can curse like any sailor.

1. Fudge.

2. Farts.

3. For-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy.

4. Fiddler's Fart.

5. JC-on-a-cream-cracker.

6. Sugar.

7. Sam Hill.

8. Sweet Fanny Adams.

9. Heck.

10. GD.

I also make use of "schmuck" because I like it.

Some are classics, but I don't usually hold back. Depends on where I am and who I'm with. My father was a curser, par excellance. I learned from the master.

I've been busy and not busy- I've spun about half of my TWF Honeybee BFL, and have just over 850 yds.

Knitted and blocked a another shawl- Sunflower Shawl using The Woolen Rabbit Whisper Lace Autumn Aspen.  There are also amber beads in it.

I also finished my Fox girl- just had to do the dress. I think she's sweet.

And I sewed a bunch of project bags. I have a bit of a fabric addiction.

Right now I'm waiting on some Gansey yarn from across the big pond, and I will be embarking on knitting THIS.  I haven't knit one of these in years, as the last one took almost a year.  This one is not as highly patterned as the Eriskay, but the gauge is tight. I'm hoping my choice of Atlantic Blue will help, as the darker wools are hard to see at night.  I think a traditional gansey is knitters high art, and I look forward to working with the 5ply worsted. 

And we're also adding to the feline collection- one of Miss Mew's kittens will be coming soon, a male- whom I have named Clawed.  The name is a reference to a cat in one of my favorite movies- and as I didn't name the last 2, Clawed it is.

Fleece out-

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May Days

Hey again- it seems we're finally getting some warmer weather. It does feel more like May now, although we're almost in June.  Can you believe it?

We had a great day out on Saturday at Christie's Antique show.  This is twice a year, and as far as it goes, is one of the better local places to go for antiques. Again, you need to be educated about what you're buying, as technically, to qualify, an antique is 100 years old, unless it's a car.  To get by this, many vendors sell collectibles, which can qualify as TAT.  Still, there's alot to see, and the weather was perfect.
Neither of these is antique, but I got a cutlery tray, and a porcelain glove hand.  There were some baskets and things, but I am careful about what I buy.  Vendors weren't so willing to bargain either.

I spent the majority of Sunday weeding, and planting.  My rose bush didn't make it, but my clematis is growing great. I may have some blooms.  We have to overhaul the pond, as the liner has a leak- and I am adding some Sandcherry and things to fill in some holes.  I got lots of lavender too.

I have finished my Stripe Study- not really much to be said about it, except I love knitting with handspun.
I made a Photosynthesis shawl, which has been in my Ravelry queue since forever.  This is in my favorite laceweight, from Kim at The Woolen Rabbit..This is in Whisper which she doesn't carry anymore, and the colour is Iris- lime green with shades of purple.  There's also a whackload of lime rainbow seed beads added.  I really liked this pattern, and I love most things with leaves- so I'm happy with this.
I've spun several bobbins of Three Waters Farm BFL in "Honeybee".  This will be enough for a sweater. 
Speaking of spinning, the 2015 Tour De Fleece starts on July 4-26, the same days as the Tour De France.  I am on Team Fat Cat again, and I just love the challenge and seeing the beautiful spinning everyone does.

The guys are exhausted from being in the window, and not liking that black cat that lays in the backyard and stares at them.  They don't mind Mr. Rabbit, but that cat has to GO.

Fleece out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten On Tuesday-10 Things You Need To Do and Stop Procrastinating

I am not a putter-offer.  So maybe I may not make it to ten.

1. Take Howard and Valentino for shots (did that this morning).

2. Make out a will. ( I hate the thought....)

3. Make out a budget to pay off the mortgage quicker.

4. Clean out the crawlspace.

5. Do a purge in the kitchen- too much clutter.

6. I have a pair of pants and a skirt cut out that I need to sew.

7. The rest is FC's domain, and his list is long. (buy a lawnmower, paint the front porch floor, clean out the garage, install the new front door.......)

And that's it.  This week I had a bit of a spinning meltdown, and I decided in the space of 10 seconds that I needed to:

a) sell all my wheels
b) sell all my fiber and fleeces
c) go upstairs and shave my head

Because self-mutilation solves everything.  We all know that.
It's okay now.  I am spinning a sweater quantity of Three Waters Farm BFL in "Honeybee" and MaryAnn is dying another few braids.  If you have been spinning a while, it becomes easier to spin finer diameter singles, and when you try to go back to doing worsted/dk weights, not so simple. So I had to adjust my wheel tension and faff around, and I really dislike FAFFING AROUND!!!!!!

I began a new project, the Stripe Study, which was fine, but I am totally bored and will only be doing 9 repeats instead of 12.  I like the smaller shoulder shawls better, and I am really tired of this now.

So, what is everyone working on?  Anything exciting that I should know about?  I am in serious need of some inspiration.

Tino is kind of angry with me for putting him in a carrier and into the car.  They both howled all the way there and all the way back.  But.....my vet always kisses them.  He's wonderful.

Fleece out until next time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Mexican Foods

Happy Cinquo de Mayo- this list is going to be pretty short.

1. Nachos and salsa.

There. That's it.  I think what we North Americans believe is Mexican food is really Tex-Mex, or Cal-Mex.  I don't think authentic Mexican cuisine is nachos and burritos.  I have been to Mexico, and they don't really have that stuff.  They also like everything fairly spicy, even their pizza, so I don't go for that.  They put jalapenos in everything.

In other news, our weather here is definitely springlike, and I even have dandelions on the lawn. Today I am packing away all the winter clothes, but I will keep a few light sweaters out, just in case.

The back bedroom has been painted, as has my wall in the kitchen. It is no longer Jack-O-Lantern orange, but matches the other 3 walls, Classic Taupe. I'm not really a "feature wall" kind of person, and it was starting to annoy me.

I have been busy doing projects.
I made some project bags with sewing themed fabric.  Notice Baby and Ralph in the background.
Blocked the shawl from hell.....
...finished this Baa-ble hat out of leftover handspun.....
...began a new project, Stripe Study.......
...and opened the windows so the boys could get some good birding time in.  The Robins are driving them crazy.

Fleece out until next week.