Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Bizarre World

It has still been quite cold here. Although, at one point, the temperature went to above 0C, causing a bit of a melt. Then, as things go in this part of the world, they dropped drastically within 12 hours. Resulting in these:

Pretty, aren't they? These are steroid-sized icicles that formed in front of my living room window. HUGE. And probably more than a bit dangerous to anyone standing below them, should they snap off. Luckily, they melted away after the last mild spell late last week. It sure made for a pretty picture though.

I really want to thank everyone who offered support, and weighed in on my apartment challenges. You guys really are great friends! In a way, it gave me a push to start looking elsewhere! And, I'm waiting to hear back from one location I looked into and really liked. A nice, big 2 bedroom in the area - in an apartment building with LAUNDRY (you have no idea how good that sounds to me). It's in the same area I live in now, and it's practically lake front. As a matter of fact, my bedroom would look out onto Lake Ontario. Nice... So, we'll see! I'll let you know how it went next time around.

So. OK. Maybe I'm being paranoid of late. But. I noticed something odd yesterday, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it (well, of course. It's me, after all...). Mae had her appointment at the vet yesterday morning (more on that later). Now, normally, when I leave the house, I leave by my back door, and will come home through the front door, to pick up my mail. Because I had her in the carrier, and it was -16C outside, I decided I'd leave by the front, and wait on the porch for my ride. I locked the deadbolt on my door. I've only done it a hundred times. I NEVER lock the door handle, simply because I don't want to lock myself out if the door closes behind me as I'm getting my paper or what ever else. So, it's NEVER locked. Ever.

Then, why is it the door handle was locked when we returned home from the vet's???

Does it lock itself on it's own? No. You probably know the type of door handle lock I mean - the ones with a twisty little thing in the handle itself. Either I manually lock it myself from the inside, or I lock it with a key from the outside. Neither of which I've ever done in the 3 years since these new locks were put in. I am quite sure I didn't lock it when I left with Mae. Actually, very sure.

So, my tired brain is trying to figure this one out. How did it get locked??? Who has a key? Few people do, actually. The landlord does...but - she wouldn't come in, would she? I wonder (because I can't shut my head up) - does my neighbour downstairs have identical keys to my place? See what I mean? This is just bizarre. I've gone over every step in my mind, and I just can't figure it out. It doesn't lock itself. The deadbolt isn't connected to the door handle, so locking one doesn't lock the other. And if I had accidentally locked the door handle? I can tell when I pull the door shut - the door handle wouldn't turn.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Other than being away and the guys being looked after by their Auntie Raven, the handle is never locked. I can remember this happening a couple of times before, but just shruging it off. This time, because it was early, and I had Mae with me in the carrier, I made an effort not to pull too hard and "slam" my door as I was closing it. I know I turned that handle - it was NOT locked. I'd like to think that if it were the landlord, they'd at least let me know that they were in my place.

Man, I have to move. And soon.

OK, on to something else.

Yes, Baby Mae had her annual physical yesterday. She's such a good girl, and everyone at the vet's office commented on how pretty she was!

Of course she is.

"I'm not impressed with the probing and needles. But, there are some very nice humans at that office. I'll give you that much."

Completely freaked out, she didn't flinch or lash out. Even when they took her to the back to draw some blood (at nearly 10, it's a good idea to check for age-related issues). Even when Benny the rambunctious 9-month old puppy decided to introduce himself. She does need to have some dental work done though, which is scheduled for February.

I was initially supposed to bring Atticus along as well, remember? Well, I decided that it probably wasn't such a good idea - not because of the hassle of taking both of them in at once, but because someone being left alone at home was an even worse scenario. Gandalf has never been on his own since he came to live with us, and he probably would have had a meltdown of epic proportions if he found himself alone. He does get a little anxious sometimes if he doesn't know where I am. Little munchkin... :(

"Me no like to be alone..."

So Atticus goes in 2 weeks. He should make up for Mae and Gandalf being such well-behaved sweethearts at the vet's... Heh.

And one last thing:

How did this happen?

And this?

I pulled Diva out from the closet earlier this week, and noticed 2 holes on the collar, and one on the cuff. I thought it was moths, but none of my other sweaters have holes in them.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snow and Cold

Gandalf loves the snow. I'm sure, given the chance (which he will not get), he'd be out there happily romping in the snow. But, he'll have to be content to watch it from inside; and try to catch snow flakes with his tongue from the other side of the window.
"This fluffy white stuff is so neat. Wow, look at that man across the street moving it around with that big spoon! Mom? What's he saying? I think he's saying bad words!"

I like what it looks like from inside.

As long as I don't have to shovel it.

Things look rather peaceful out there in the large back yard. But of late, things have been less than peaceful with my neighbour downstairs.

It's not that she's loud, or has funky smells coming from her apartment. I guess it's just the small things that add up to "time to move". Small things - her dog running around all over the back yard - nothing wrong with that - and her not cleaning up after her. If you get my drift. It's the lack of privacy on my deck. Hers extends further out than mine, so when she's out there, she can pretty much see all that goes on on mine. It's the boyfriend who seems to have moved in, and parks his car in the middle of the back yard. It's her allowing him to smoke in her bathroom, and having the smell waft up to my place. It's her "allowing" our next door neighbours' dog to run around in our yard. It's how everyone must adjust and live around her. It's the screaming matches she gets into with her sister (you know, the one who would toss away my mail). It's also how she scammed her way into paying far less for her apartment than I do mine, despite hers being much bigger (ok, that's a landlady thing...). Oh, and as she controls the heat - she feels it's perfectly OK to turn down the heat when she's warm enough, not taking into consideration that I may be cold. Which I frequently am - this is an old house with little to no insulation in some parts (it was built in 1892). And, depending on the direction of the wind... Yikes.

And speaking of the landlady - she's pretty unresponsive. I've had a list of things that need to be fixed here, which she still hasn't addressed. No laundry facilities is also starting to grate on my nerves, despite the fact she has more than enough space in the basement. When her parents still maintained the property, things were good. But, since she took over, she's pretty much treated this property as a cash-cow.

Oh yeah. I think the clincher is the uh, noises that can sometimes make their way into my apartment. I was getting ready to go meet the Captain for breakfast yesterday, and as I turned the radio off, and put my coat on, I uh...well...heard stuff. Coming from downstairs (her bedroom is below my living room).

"What kind of noises did you hear, Mom?"

"Nothing Mae."

"Oh, I know. Those noises... Hee hee, we hear them sometimes when you're at work!"

Ew. Ew. EW!!!!

So. Taken individually, they do seem like minor issues. However, as a whole they become difficult to deal with. I think my decision was sealed when I realized I was a bit anxious coming home. Not knowing what to expect - will I step on dog poop? Will she have her smoke butts littering the back yard? Will she be screaming at her sister again? And on and on. I've lived here nearly 11 years now, and it is my home. But, at some point, I stopped being it that way.

I'm aiming to be out of here by April 1st. I don't think I want to spend another summer not being able to enjoy what I should be able to, and used to.


Writing about it does make me feel much better - so thanks for reading!

But hey!

(That picture actually looks better than I thought it would.)

I have been doing knitting stuff! How could I not? When it has been -20C, you don't feel much like being outside. I've been working on Isobel of Mar. You know, despite the never-ending rows, I really enjoy working on her. She's very soothing, and I keep imagining how lovely she'll look when she's done. And the colour probably has something to do with it as well. Lovely blue with flecks of green in it (it's the Hebridean 3-ply "Summertide" shade)... Once I get past the bodice, it should be smooth-sailing. No patterning, just the double moss stitch. Oh wait. I forgot that there's a button band too. Well, regardless.

And I've been able to pick up my Windsor Waistcoat again! Ah, how wonderful... Although I didn't photograph it. I'm past the mid-way point of the body. Not bad, considering it's been at least a month since I've been able to work on it. Most of my knitting has been pretty slow though. This time of year, mainly due to central heating, I get icky dry skin and exzema on my right hand, so I have to be careful not to irritate it more than it needs to be.

Well, it sure reads like I'm whining a bit to much in this post - I hope I didn't bore you! Again, thanks for reading. As I said - being able to write about it helps me think things through.

And, as a parting gift, a gratuitous shot of Atticus.

"Dammit. Busted drinking out of the flowery pansy-bowl."

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I really had a theme planned for this post. I was going to give my progress reports for various projects I have on the go...blah blah blah.
But, I kind of got sidetracked. See, sometime late last year, Lorraine started on about my stash, and how it should go into Ravelry. I think it started sometime after she had come over for a visit, and saw my newly "organized" stash central.

Looks daunting, huh? I do have plans to reorganize it all, somewhat. And, it is looking slightly more "organized" since I took this picture.

I decided that I'd start with the visible yarn, the ones I could see without having to rifle through everything. That was easy enough.

Then I thought I'd list all the heavyweights - the Jamieson's, Virtual Yarns stuff not in kits (2 and 3-ply), old AS yarns, and the "bulk" all-purpose stuff like the Patons Classic Wool and Cascade 220. And wouldn't you know it - I have A LOT more than I thought I did. Including a whole whack of 3-ply Hebridean in Mara and 2-ply in Selkie that I can use for something else. (Why did I get the Mara in the first place? Oh yeah, I think it was for another Sand Dance.) I have yarn for Sand Dance (listed in kit form), with completely different colours...

See? It never ends. AND I haven't listed all of the "remnants" of old projects either, and some have a lot of yarn leftover.

Most of this stuff has been accumulating over the years. Whether or not it ends up getting used is another thing.

Oh, and I keep remembering all of the stuff I know I have, but still haven't gotten too! Some various Debbie Bliss, more Rowan stuff, and I haven't even touched the cotton... Or the Fleece Artist. Or the Fiddlesticks Knitting Country Silk. Oh, and I just remembered some more Cascade 220! A bunch more Shelridge Farm. Oh! And a pile of Briggs and Little.

My head hurts. I'm up to 56 stashed entries in Ravelry. I'm betting it'll get to 75. Not including sock yarn.


Lorraine will be entertained for a long while to come.

Oh, and by the way. Speaking of stash enhancement. Fiddlesticks Knitting has two new designs out. Just sayin'.

Someone has just taken up residence on my lap, using my left arm as a head-rest.

"...lalalalala... Who's "Chucky"? My name's not "Chucky" Mom, it's Gandalf."

Maybe it's a simple coincidence, but Gandalf turns into a terror with every full moon. Then, just as soon as it starts, it ends. I've nicknamed him "Chucky" during these episodes. During his check-up last weekend, the vet mentioned that he had a bit of a heart murmur (but not to worry). Judging by his antics of late, I doubt it bothers him.

And his silliness is contagious.

"Hey, what's the big deal? You should be happy I'm getting some cardio and boxer-cise without having to go to a gym. What's that? Oh, you mean we shouldn't be running around early in the morning? When it's still dark out? Why not??"

This apartment is not my own.

Oh, and by the way. Did you know you can organize your queue in Ravelry now? Maybe you always could, but I just discovered the option.

I have 35 Starmore projects queued.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hey everybody! Happy 2009! Wow, it always amazes me how quickly the holiday season creeps up on you, then disappears like a bad first date. Did you make it to midnight? Did I make it to midnight? Um, I can't remember the last time I did! I sort of made it to 10:30pm...

Then, all of a sudden, it's January, and life returns to its normal self. I make no resolutions. I figure that if something is worth doing, it should probably be done when the thought pops into your head.

Of course, I can say things like - yeah, I resolve to swatch and finish what I start (HA! OK, finish in a timely manner...) - but things like exercise more, eat better, blah blah blah. You won't hear that from me. Yes, I've been rumbling about joining a gym, but that started late last year when I found out I get a corporate discount with a fitness club chain up here. Then the holidays suddenly showed up, and that quickly got shelved. We'll see.

And eating right? Well, I always give that my best shot. Even when I'm at my sister's, where I tend to eat...more... She is a good cook, but it's all good stuff so I never feel like I'm over indulging. Just over eating. Is that the same?

Taking a break from cooking. I'm pretty sure Finnegan has something to do with it.

Speaking of which!

"Hi. So I'm not a cat. I'm not my cousins. They're cute and stuff, for cats, but I rock. Just look at my face. Now, cuddle me. CUDDLE. ME!"

Finnegan has the cat "stare" down to an art form. You know the one - you're sure you can hear violins playing in the background as the eyes burn holes in you until you are convinced that yes, they will fall to pieces if you don't pick them up and pay loads of attention to them. Oh yes. He won out many times. Little funny face.

So, did you all get good stuff from the Santa Guy? I sure did! And, amongst all that good stuff (and there was A LOT of stuff for me!) was a copy of Folk Vests! Yay!

And there was the giving of gifties as well. My stealth knitting? Well, here is some of it!

A super-dooper mega long multi-coloured scarf for my sister-in-law! Trust me. It's long. I used a bunch of Mission Falls 1824 wool for this. The perfect yarn too - it has good bounce, will wash up nicely, and it makes for a nice, thick scarf. I'm thinking it was a hit! And, I have a request for another one. It didn't take as long as it looks - it worked out perfectly in front of the TV. One of things where all of a sudden you realize - whoops, this may be too long. Well, not really but you get what I mean.

And as for the Little Dudes. Well, as always they were very nicely looked after by their Auntie Raven.

"I'm sorta not impressed by you going away. I guess it's OK that you saw cousin Finnegan. But you're home now, so I'm sorta happy about that too. Hey, what's with the crate? We going somewhere?"

Usually the new year for the guys is ushered in not by Champagne and song, but by needles and butt-probes. Gandalf was the first, stuffed into his crate yesterday for a visit to the V-E-T. You'd never know it was a traumatic experience for him - he purred while being weighed (13.6 lbs. Atta boy.). And didn't flinch while being examined, probed, and vaccinated. And everyone went on and on about what a sweetie pie he was! Aw!

Next up should be interesting... Mae - who doesn't like it but puts up with it - and Atticus, at the same time. In all their years, I've never brought both in at the same time. But, Atticus is going to be getting some blood work done in preparation for some dental cleaning he needs, and it'll be simpler (simpler? Where am I coming up with simpler?!) to take them both in at the same time.

Now, Mae is no problem. Like I said, she doesn't like it, but she won't put up too much of a fuss.

Atticus? Hold on to your hats. He's a sweet and loving boy, but he can be crabby and crotchety in his middle age! He does NOT like it when he's not being in charge of the goings-on. Getting blood from him will require a few hands on deck, and thick skin. He is going to be one PISSED.OFF. kitty when they're done. But, it is for his own good. Not that he cares though.

Stay tuned. That's in a few weeks - I have time to plan my course of action.

"You know Atticus, it probably wasn't a good idea to hiss at Gandalf like that when he got home from the vet's."

"I know, I know... So, he really said that we both have to go in? At the same time?"

"Yup. Something about check ups, and blood work for you. Not sure."

"Oy. Well, maybe he's just being a jerk, and is just saying that to get back at me?"

"Um, I don't think so... *sigh* "