Friday, July 25, 2014

Coffee this morning is on the deck with the good company of the mint. 

Mr. A seems intrigued that we are growing mint. (It was here when we got the house.) Mint, of course, is a garden thug, but since we both like it, it's a small bonus. I read somewhere that it is best harvested when flowering. Yesterday I yanked a bunch of it and today I will figure out what to do with it. My first thought was Mojitos, but Mr. A was not convinced. 

I spent some time in the garden yesterday afternoon. It's been wonderful watching things come up. Mr. A called it 'fireworks'. Every few days something surprising is exploding in another part of the garden. 

This spot is at the side of our property, next to the road. North facing, if that matters. I'd decided to just let it go this summer and see what we get. It's an established garden. That variegated groundcover plant is also a thug, I'm learning. It grows everywhere. I pulled out some weeds yesterday then uncovered a small path to the compost bin. 

Interestingly, the compost bin contains the remains of a marshmallow roast, metal cooking grate included. 

Joining me this morning...sort of...are the two beasts. If you look closely, you'll see they've both slipped their Halties off their noses. I slept in a bit this morning so I'm combining my coffee time and 'walking the dogs'. Efficiency at its best. 

In other news, the kids have handed in all their assignments for this course they're finishing. I have their exam scheduled and the exam proctor in place. They have a couple of exam review classes to attend (virtually, of course). They've worked really hard all through July. 

I'm trying to convince them to have a bit of a pool party to celebrate the completion of their course next week. We'll see how that shapes up. 

So cleaning and chores today. I'm also trying to track down a coupon. 

Mr. A has agreed to make the trek to IKEA to get some chairs for out unfurnished sitting room. (I know it's a sitting room because even though it has no furniture, people insist on sitting in there. Awkward as it's been, almost four months in and we're still trying to sit in there with no furniture.) We did a practice trip recently where we parked at the loading area and entered the store through the back door. We looked up the item we wanted at the handy kiosk and went directly to the aisle of the warehouse to pick up the boxes we needed. Mr. A was very impressed that I didn't drag him through the lengthy showroom. It turned what is normally an hour-long meander into a 15 minute retrieval mission. Of course since he has to go to IKEA, he might as well visit the outdoor store for fishing supplies. As long as I get my chairs....

Mrs. A


I Really Must Take A News Vacation

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sometimes the news gets to me. This is one of those times. So I think I will distance myself from it for a while. CBC Radio might be ok...I find its news to be somewhat less sensational than tv and website news. 

Let's talk about knitting! 

Here is my current Works In Progress cabinet. I say current because I'm not sure that this is the cabinet's true calling. But it's working for now and I'm going with it. 

This lovely dark red thing is a Henslowe scarf. I'm knitting it as written. I think many people would like to upsize it a little, but I love the pattern so much and I'm still new at scarf/shawl construction that I'm going to just do what I'm told and appreciate that it will be awesome in the end.  

I'm not usually one who likes a garter stitch fabric, but I'm finding it ok here. I liked the beginning: cast on 2. Very amusing. I'm sure the novelty will wear off after I've knit a few scarves. There's a very clever yarn over edge that I'm meant to pick up and knit the edging on to. I'm just happy that it's my first attempt and it seems I'm doing it correctly!

This is my Age of Brass And Steam. Also a scarf. Also in its beginnings. There's was a wee garter tab cast on. I found it different and it's very difficult to determine where to pick up stitches when there's seven rows of only two stitches in a row and everything gets muddled. We'll just hope that's not noticeable. 

Reading through these projects at Ravelry, I found a simple set of notes that outlines how easy it was to make this scarf a little bigger. I've attempted to do so, but am kind if second guessing myself. On a row of 'yo, k2tog', I had a stitch left over. After double checking my stitch count, I just knit it and went on - good practice for my perfectionist tendencies - but I still think of the single knit stitch in a row of knit2togethers. I think I should press on. 

Rams and Yowes was pleasing knitting yesterday! I finished the first row of yowes. A colour change is up next. The next yowes will be 'moorit'. That's the brown colour in the basket. I'm keeping the tension very loose and it seems to be working out. I'm not sure if I need to catch the longer floats in the back or not? The longest is a 13 stitch float. The yarn is super sticky and it is recommended to give the back a good rub when it's done being knit and having its bath. So far I've been catching the long floats. 

All my people are home and working today. The kids finish up the content of their Civics class and move on to exam review. Exam on Tuesday. I'm being the mean mom and making them submit their independent study essay today instead of on the last day of the course. You can imagine how impressed they are. But, I think they will thank me after having the weekend 'off'. We'll see. They might be distracted by exam stress. It will be The Boy's first official exam. 

Mr. A is in his little home office in the basement and is quite satisfied. He's travelled for work twice this week - that's more than usual. He commented that this morning's commute - coffee in hand, down one flight of stairs - was much better than yesterday's hour long drive. 

Mrs. A


I Don't Have To Be Anywhere on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July is flying by. 

This Civics course the kids are doing is pretty intense. Good, though. We're all learning lots....not necessarily about civics, though. The exam is next Tuesday morning. The Independent Study Essay - which seems sort of rushed and glossed over given the pace of the rest of the work - is due Tuesday as well. I'm encouraging the kids to get it handed in before the weekend. 

The Girl Child will be off to Saskatchewan next month for a weeklong adventure. So preparations for that are ramping up. 

Knitting continues. I'm impressed that I've got two scarves on the needles: The Age of Brass and Steam and Henslowe. Rams and Yowes has reached the first colour change. I will drop the grey 'shaela' colour and pick up 'mooskit', which is a light brown.  The picture below shows the legs of the first row of Yowes and there's Mooskit in the background, all ready to go. 

I've received a wee swap package (pic below)!! This amuses me to no end. I'm part of a Ravelry group that has to do with knitting Hexipuffs out of small skeins of yarn. I qualify for participation because I have knit these little 'puffs in the past and imagine that I'd like to knit more of them given all the time in the world. Last month I noticed a friendly swap was being planned so I jumped in not really knowing what to expect. I received a lovely little package from a lady in Ireland. This month I received one from just up the road in Ottawa. 

I've been enjoying your comments lately. I always find good for for thought after receiving a comment. Yesterday I found myself considering complaints all day. Good thoughts, believe it or not. 

And I bought a flame thrower. Not really, but it's fun to joke about. The weeds in the driveway are a little out of control. It's bothering Mr. A. Paving of any sort for a large driveway is not in the budget. So I started looking at options. Fire seemed the most earth-friendly and economical. 

Mr. A was not convinced. Normally he is the one who has to convince me that something is a good idea. This time he thought perhaps vinegar would be a better option for weed killing. I couldn't imagine killing off the amount of weeds he'd like gone with vinegar. So while The Boy Child was at soccer practice last night, I dragged Mr. A around looking for a propane torch. Four stores and an hour later, we found one dusty, lonely specimen and brought it home. 

See? It's not like I can set the house on fire, or anything. Thankfully, Mr. A is at the office today so I will see how far I get with a pound of propane without interruption. Look forward to before/during/after pictures next week. 

Thunderstorms seem imminent today if the sound of the sky is to be believed. I'm off to herd teenagers, feed dogs, flammenwerf the driveway and hopefully knit the top half of the first row of sheep. 

Mrs. A


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