Sunday, December 26, 2010

On Saying No

Happy Day After Christmas! Did everyone have a good holiday? I did, spending it with my neighbour Brian, his Mom, her dog Rainey, and of course, Sasha.

"Really Sasha."

"Oh, look at this. Honest Atticus, I didn't mean to do it! I just get so relaxed and comfortable here..."

She loves coming over, and the guys are getting used to her being around. Although they draw the line at her scarfing back their food.

It was a good time yesterday. We watched movies ("Red", and "Hot Tub Time-Machine", which despite the name was a very funny movie and a great blast from the past for those of us who were in high school in the '80's), played board games, and ate a lot. Brian deep-fried the turkey, which - gross as it may sound - was outstanding. It took 45 minutes (yes, you read that right) to cook an 9lbs turkey. The scalloped potatoes took longer. Deep-frying the turkey leaves it moist on the inside, and as long as you're not eating the skin, it's not greasy at all. I was so.good. So yeah, I didn't say no to seconds.

I donate monthly to the Toronto Humane Society. Every year around this time, they send me a little package, asking for donations, or to increase my monthly donation amount.

Now, I ask you. If you received this envelope in the mail, as I did, would you not increase your monthly donation amount? The only surprise here is that I didn't sign away my entire paycheck. The THS sure know how to make the most of their marketing dollars. Again I fail at saying no.

Who else has issues with "no"?

"What? 17.8lbs? No, that's not right! I mean, I can't be...really? 17.8lbs?? That's just me on a bad day! Retaining water or something. I mean, c'mon. It's not that I...really? 17.8lbs. Huh."

Yup. Little wee baby Malcolm is now a whopping 17.8lbs. I about fell over at the vet's office when she told me the weight. It's not easy putting one of four cats on a "diet", so I'm trying to do it in such a way that I reduce the amount they're eating, without compromising the weight of the others. Although Atticus could stand to lose a pound or two.

"I beg to differ."

They all get a mix of the old food and the low-calorie one, and a bit less of it too. Some days it's gobbled up, other days they leave some in their dish. So, little by little, I suppose. Unlike Atticus, Malcolm doesn't get crabby when you mess with his food. He may be a bit of drama-queen, but he's pretty easy going.

But. The most monumental example of not being able to say "no" of the last couple of weeks?

No. I didn't get another cat.

No. I didn't get another job.

No. I didn't start spinning (unlike another knitter, who I shall just call Labrain...)

Instead. I decided to swap apartments! AGAIN!


Yay me!

Yes, that's right. I'm moving, well, swapping apartments really (sounds so much less work), within the next week. This time, it's the upper apartment of the other section of the house. It's an add-on to the original farmhouse which I live in now (which was built in 1892), and was built around 1912. It'll be my second time living in that apartment - I was there from 2003 until late 2005, before I moved into the apartment directly upstairs from where I am now.

Confused?! Don't worry chickens. I am too...

See, here's why. Firstly - it's $100 cheaper a month. Secondly - I loved that apartment while I was there. Of the 3 out of 4 units I've lived in here, it is my favourite. I moved out because of the renovations. Which brings me to the third reason - new bathroom, new kitchen, new mud room leading out to the deck, which is also new. There was no deck when I lived there. And the bathtub? The original, old claw-foot bathtub with one of those nifty rain shower heads. I'm actually not sure what enticed me more - the cheaper rent, or the bathtub.

It has the same square footage as this one does, however the layout of the rooms is different. Here, my office is smaller than my bedroom, at the new place it's the reverse. I don't need such a large bedroom, however I do need a larger office/stash room.

So, have I started packing yet? Not so much as a shred of paper. I have the next couple of weeks to move in slowly, and if I've learned anything from my past 3 apartment swaps, it's that I don't need to pack everything up. And even what will end up going in boxes will not need to be wrapped and ready to go. I want to be in there by next weekend. Mainly because my main moving help will either be away the week after (Brian), or back in school (neighbour James).

As happy as I am, the guys could care less.

These two lumps have lived in that apartment before.

"You like this moving thing, don't you? I guess this way we'll be able to find all of those missing crinkly balls Auntie Chris brought us last year when she came for a visit."

I'm bracing myself - as I move stuff out of here, I'm sure to find not only the missing crinkly balls, but also a quantity of pooplets that Malcolm has batted in spots I wouldn't have suspected.

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

After 6 months or so of me thinking he'd grown out of that most annoying of habits, he has started up with digging pooplets out of the litter box again, and playing with them like it's the World Cup.

I'll have a lot of help so that I don't wear myself down. Wish me luck! And next time around, I'll post some pictures of the new digs, and let you see for yourself why I just love that apartment.

Oh! And knitting too!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Always Learning Something New

"Um, yeah hi. Uh, is this where the Crazy Cat Lady lives? I was uh, talking to Mimi? Anyway, she said I could come here and crash, maybe get some grub..."

"What?? NO! Go.Away. You can't just show up here like that. Crazy Cat Lady, pffft. She's no Lady! She's Mom. Shoo!"

You know, at first I thought that was Mae outside the door. And later on that day? I came pretty close to getting another picture of a handsome tuxedo cat sniffing at the door. It would seem word has gotten out - here be the neighbourhood kitty flop house! LOL. I guess...

It's been a few weeks of new things around here!

A new desk! Well, I actually bought it from my neighbours next door. And I LOVE it. It's got all sorts of neat nooks and crannies to organize things, and it takes up a lot less room. I also get to indulge in another secret love - reorganizing stuff! It's like unpacking after a move, without the move! Yes! I'm weird!!

The other new tidbit I learned? Well, I wouldn't call it a tidbit, because I was so fascinated. See that lavender blob on the desk? It was the start of an outdoor coat I was making - "Tenley", from the latest issue of the Twist Collective. The awesome neato of this pattern? It uses tubular cast on for the ribbing.
Which has to be the coolest cast on. Ever.

I was so enthralled by the process and the seamless results, that even though I ended up frogging it (only because I wasn't too keen on the stitch pattern), I had to photograph it. Only the picture came out blurry, so I'll have to work on getting another.

Regardless. Yeah, it takes a bit longer to do. But it is worth it! Amazing, beautiful results, and well worth the effort.
Who are these people who figure these things out?! Well, who ever did? Really, really awesome job.
What else is new - Atticus?

"Hi, I'm Atticus. I'm a Gemini, and I'm 12 years old. I'm big-boned, not fat; and my likes are long walks to the litter box, curry and tandoori."

And Mae? How about you?
"Hi, I'm Mae. I'm an Aries, and I'm 11 years old. I snore and act out in my sleep; my likes are yogourt and pulling tablecloths off of tables."

"Hi, I'm Gandalf. I'm a Taurus, and I'm 4 years old. I'm a lover, not a fighter, baby. My likes are kisses and and my Snuggi Bear."
"Oh, and I'm also king. But you knew that already. Again - I'm big-boned, not fat."

He's a mellow man now, our Gandalf. Not the hellion he once was.
What about you Malcolm? What new stuff can we learn about you?

"Hi, I'm Malcolm. I'm a Leo, and I'm 1 year old! I'm awfully cute; and my likes are my Mom, eating and jumping really high in the air for no reason. Oh! And I'm a drama queen."

See? Something new all the time!

"Yeah, forget it. You guys are weird. One of you eats tandoori BBQ, and another one is probably gonna paw me in my sleep and get fresh. I'll take my chances out here. Man, that Mimi is such a liar..."

And next time?! Something else new that I couldn't really properly photograph, but that will be shown off... Ooooo, mysterious...