Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Help

Have you read this book?
I started reading it yesterday.  Have already seen the movie and enjoyed it.  However, the book is sparking more thought than the movie did.  Got me to thinking about a time in the late 80s / early 90s when I was invited to a friend's house for lunch.  Nothing unusual about either the invitation or the lunch as such, but while we were enjoying coffee after, the "help" arrived to clean house.  The "help" was another friend of mine.  Awkward with a capital "A"!  Clearly, the hostess looked down at this person as if she was clearly not in her league ... which made me wonder how the hostess looked at me ... which made me wonder how I looked at my other friend myself ... and the whole situation gave me a big fat headache!  And we were all the same "colour"! 

We're having a warm spell up here ... mucky sidewalks and roads.  One more day to go then 3 days off.  I feel a "jammies" day coming on!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What would your IDEAL job be?

Someone asked me that question this past week.  Made me think ... and THAT was painful!  I can certainly say what the WORST job I ever had was ... in fact, I can quickly say what the TWO WORST jobs I ever had were. 

#1 was making up cardboard boxes in a fruit packing plant.  I was about 15 years old.  Flip, fold, tuck, glue, stack on pallet, then repeat 9,997 X for the rest of the day.  AARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!  This was all done in some isolated corner out of sight of other human beings.  I used to BEG the forklift operator who came every hour or so to pick up full pallets of finished boxes to stay and talk to me for just a minute or two cuz I was so desperately lonely and bored!  I don't remember which particular fruit was being processed, but I lasted the entire run.  I guess I really wanted the $! 

#2 was selling shoes.  I lasted 3 whole days, but to this day I don't know how I managed to hang in there that long!  First, I don't like other people's feet.  They gross me out.  Second, I don't like trying on shoes myself.  One pair, okay.  Two pairs, well maybe ... if I'm having a very patient day.  Third pair?  Forget it, I didn't need/want new shoes that bad!  Did you know that some "customers" will try on 97 pairs of shoes?  And then LEAVE WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING???  Which means the poor shoe sales person has to repackage and reshelve all those shoes?????  Even worse than that ... did you know some "customers" will only try on size 6 shoes when they are clearly size 10s??????????  So you KNOW they aren't going to be happy with the next 96 pairs they try on!  I hated that job SO MUCH!

But that still didn't answer the question.  Hmm.  I'll have to do some more thinking.  I suspect my answer will have something to do with being creative cuz I love being creative ... THIS DISCUSSION TO BE CONTINUED ...

Speaking of being creative, I don't believe I have shared photos of my latest tote/bag (sewn last August).

 My "scrap bin" was overflowing, so I used up a bunch of little pieces of fabrics.  The scrap bin seems to have miraculous properties cuz it's STILL overflowing, and I'm STILL devising ways to use up little pieces.  At the moment, I'm working on a quilted wall hanging of hearts and cats.
 I really enjoy hand-sewing and hand-quilting, although it's quite a challenge now with this annoying limp hand and thumb!  The cats will have bows and bells stitched under their chins eventually.
Minus 10 degrees C and snowing lightly outside at the moment.  Good time to curl up in the rocking chair with my stitching.  Perhaps THAT is my ideal job???

Thursday, 8 November 2012

My new best friend

So I have a new best friend. 

After considerable deliberation -- over a year's worth of careful thought, actually! -- I had arrived at a list of necessary qualities one's BF should have.  Armed with that list, I set out deliberately last week to find her. 

So what qualities would YOU look for if YOU were shopping for a new BF?  I had decided appearances wouldn't be everything ... but I wouldn't mind if she was ... well ... INTERESTING.  I had also decided that practicality and sensibility wouldn't be everything ... although anyone elevated to BF status HAD TO BE strong enough to be leaned on when really needed.  Finally, I had decided that a sense of humor ... even a bit of quirkiness ... was a definate asset.  AND I FOUND EXACTLY WHO I WAS LOOKING FOR!

Her name is Maide.

That's Irish Gaelic for "stick".  Of course, Maide is not just a stick ... she's my new BF!  My balance is not getting any better, and I'm tired of falling.  Isn't she a beauty?

I found her at our biggest local Christmas craft fair.  I also bought myself some lovely natural beeswax candles ...
They smell SO delicious!  (Okay, the glass of wine smelled ... er ... tasted pretty good too!)

DO NOT read this book by candlelight ...

... and it's probably best not to read it late at night or while you're alone either!  SPOOKY!  (Dean Koontz is very descriptive.)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Missing in action

Or maybe missing from action?  Had STUFF going on.  Did you know human bodies break down / fall apart?  NOBODY WARNED ME ABOUT THAT!  Am now trying to get back into the swing of things despite new challenges. 

October slid out on a great big snow bank ...
Monday morning October 29 2012.  ICK!
Struggling with knitting needles again.  You know what they say ... "I'm all thumbs!"?  Would be nice to have a FUNCTIONING thumb here!

More soon!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

August already

So I've been busy with my imaginary vacation.  It was supposed to occupy my Fridays, but it overflowed!  What can i say -- I was "in" Spain, and there is an awful lot to learn about, read about, see, hear, taste and experience in and about Spain!  (See my other blog  Last Friday, I finally "crossed the border" into France, and find myself quite unsatisfied about leaving Spain with so much still unlearned, unread, unseen, unheard, untasted and unexperienced.  Oh well -- lesson learned!  From here on, I shall have to limit myself to a small handful of specific goals for each country I "visit".  For example, while "in" France, I want to sample the wine in the Languedoc, tour a lavender distillery in Provence, and experience Celtic music in Brittany -- and try harder to limit this sampling, touring and experiencing to Fridays only.  Wish me luck ...

On an easier note, I finished knitting a beautiful pair of black lacy socks (Spanish pattern), and am nearly finished the first of a pair of delightful dark lavender lacy socks (French pattern).  The knitting aspect of this imaginary vacation will NOT be limited to Fridays.  A day without knitting is like a day without sunshine to me!

Spanish Lacy Socks.

And how is YOUR summer going?  It has been hot enough here to really feel like summer without the odd thunder and rain storm thrown in to break the monotony.  No drastic extremes like some other parts of the country are experiencing.  My third floor apartment only gets direct sun in the mornings, and is high enough to catch any breeze moving at all, so has been quite comfortable.  My balcony gardening efforts have (so far) survived "Assistance by Boots Inc." -- suddenly, I find myself unable to eat fresh lettuce as fast as it keeps growing!
Growing like crazy!

This week, Bootsy is a little turned off by the balcony.  We've had avisitor there -- a grey parrot.  She (Boots) was cautious but interested until said parrot stated 9in a definate English accent) "Allo!  Allo!  Got a light?"  Bootsy promptly determined the back of my closet was preferable to feathered that that speaks Human!  There have been "missing" posters around my neighbourhood this past week, but it appears the parrot is enjoying a traveller's summer vacation.

"Make DangerousTalking Feathered Thing GO AWAY!"

Are you watching the Olympics?  I don't own a television, so no, I'm not.  I'm not so sure I would even if I had a tv.  It's so ... so NOT what I personally believe the true spirit of the games is meant to be.  I heard a really good example of that last Sunday.  Two little girls were playing "Olympics Ball" in our back yard.  One child was both star Canadian athlete and Olympics commentator, the other a South Korean Athlete.  The ball games was a lively mixture of tennis, soccer and baseball played with a beach ball, and the Canadian "team" won by many thousands of points.  Then the two little girls switched to playing "Olympics Podium" with the same little Canadian in the role of announcer.  There was flag raising (a waving beach towel), anthem playing (off-key but enthusiastic humming), and lots of vigorous cheering for the victorious Canadians.  The poor little South Korean athlete was firmly chastised for SMILING.  She was supposed to be DEVASTATED -- ASHAMED even for letting down her team and her country!  She should really crawl away somewhere dark and just DIE cuz her country would probably SHOOT HER for being just a disappointing loser of a TRAITOR if she went home!

WTF?  Where do little kids get these ideas?  I know there are both winners and losers, but what happened to being good sports?  Winning medals are THAT important?  And what the heck did these munchkins hear their adults saying???

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Guest Post

"Hi!  My name is Boots.  I am guest blogging today."

"I and my human live in an apartment
on the third floor of a building.  That's our
balcony ... the interesting one."

"Sometimes our balcony feels a bit like
a prison.  La sigh!"

"My human grows some stuff for me
on our balcony ... like these tasty
sunflower plants."

"Most of the time, I enjoy our balcony.
I can manage any wildlife or humans
that trespass in our back yard from
the comfort of home!
But sometimes, I feel like expanding my horizons."

"My human grows some stuff up high
on our balcony railing ... and it might be tasty."

"I don't know why my human frowns when
I jump up to check it out ... do you?"

Monday, 9 July 2012

Now departing for Sevilla, Spain ...

Yes, really.  Well, really IN MY MIND!  Remember, I did say it was going to be an INNOVATIVE vacation!  If you want to travel along with me, check out
If you're not into knitting socks with a truly global flavour, I won't bore you with my imaginative travels here.  However, if you ARE into knitting socks ... or travelling ... I heartily invite you to join me!  Bring your knitting needles ... we'll knit our way around the world together in our minds!

And in other news ...

When was the last time you ate this???

Celery sticks with Cheez Whiz used to be fancy food in our house ... the kind of "gourmet" appies reserved for company and special occasions.  I had me an urge for that kind of food over the weekend ... do you ever get urges for something from your childhood like that?  If so, what?  If I had gone all out, I would have had me some radish roses and green onion curls in a bowl of ice water too!

It's a wee bit warm here at the moment ...

That's 28 degrees Celsius here in Canada.
I'm a child of the 1950s ... I still think in Fahrenheit.
 Perhaps that's what got me thinking about company and special occasion meals ... I think most of the visitors my family entertained when I was growing up arrived in the hottest part of summer.  Dinner ... we called it supper ... generally included a big plate of sliced "cukes and tommy-toes" (cucumbers and tomatoes) from our garden.  My family always had an enormous garden.  I kind of miss that ... although I do currently have lettuce and green onions growing on my balcony (if Mizz Bootz would leave them alone!) 
Those childhood company and special occasion meals also included individual glasses of icy cold orange Tang. Did you drink that stuff?  Was it even remotely good for us?  Why on earth did the adults in my family think that stuff belonged in the fancy foods and bevvies department?

Naturally, plenty of mashed potatoes, fried chicken (also grown in our back yard), gravy, and biscuits filled out those supper menus.  Who eats biscuits with their meals these days?  I miss biscuits too!  We ate them WITH our meal, then ate them AFTER supper as dessert ... warm, with real Quebec Maple Syrup on very special occasions (my Dad was born and raised in Quebec's Eastern townships, and his family provided at least one container of "down home" Maple Syrup every year).  Or with home-made jam on less special occasions.  If there were any left, we ate them cold as a snack, or the next morning for breakfast, but leftover biscuits didn't happen very often.

Dang!  Now I want some biscuits to go with my celery!

"Me?  Move?  Nuh uh!  It's too hot to move!
I'm going to lay right here until sundown!"
 I'm with The Bootz on that idea!  And I certainly hope there's no company coming ... cuz it's much too hot to fry chicken, boil potatoes, and bake biscuits!  Stay cool, y'all!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Getting excited!

July 3 today ... 3 more sleeps (until launching off on my innovative European vacation)!  Hope you're going to follow my adventures!

So how was YOUR long weekend?

Cloudy / rainy here.
 The Boots and I enjoyed balcony time together and caught up on our reading.
"Hey!  Get your thumb outta the way ...
I'm still on that page!"
Sometimes I really need a couple of quiet days to just hang out on the balcony with La Feline.  It recharges my batteries!

I did manage to get myself dressed and out once over the weekend ... took myself on a Saturday night movie date. What a waste of money and time! "That's My Boy" ... an Adam Sandler thing. I find Adam Sandler's brand of humor thoroughly obnoxious. Had I realized he was in it, I would NOT have bothered ... I bought my ticket based on a brief synopsis about "a teenaged father reuniting with his grown son" ... thought it sounded like an interesting story line. NOT!  I have to admit, however, inflicting this movie on myself was my own fault.  Usually I take the time to check out movie trailers on line and read multiple reviews before heading out to the theatre.  That will teach me not to be spontaneous (in the movie-going department)!

Then, just to add insult to injury on Saturday, I missed the last bus of the evening and ended up WALKING HOME. I don't mind an hour long walk, but after NOT enjoying a movie date with myself, wasn't such a happy camper. Of course, once I got home, I was AWAKE and energized ... not a good state to be in after 11 pm!

I guess The Boots was too busy reading (and snuggling) to cause further gardening havoc.

What's left of our lettuce is growing well ...
I'll re-seed the middle of this pot AGAIN this week
(shhh!  Don't tell Bootsie!)

I have no idea what this happy little plant is
in the planters on my balcony railing ...
but it is sure PURTY!!!
I just heard there's a weekly Scrabble thing happening at our local book store ... YES!  I've been feeling Scrabble deficient lately.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

End of June

Our province has been experiencing sporadic but significant rain and spring run-off at the same time, so there are floods and danger of floods all over the place.  My heart goes out to anyone who is negatively impacted by rising waters.  I remember catfish swimming in the ditch beside our driveway when I was a little girl, and that was scary enough!  (Later, we found dead catfish in our alfalfa field ... my Dad figured they tried to take an overland route back to the river cuz our alfalfa field wasn't ever under water.)

Although there have been homes evacuated around our city, Miss Boots and I are safe and dry as we live well uphill of any running water.  The rain combined with some great sunshine has contributed to blooms on my balcony!
Planter boxes on the balcony railings.
(Yes, I know ... that date stamp thing is wrong
... yet again!)

These little geraniums are the MOST VIViD
and brilliant happy SCARLET!
 Other stuff is growing well too ...

Thanks to my 'kitty deflectors', the Sweet
Peas are finally prospering!

The Parsley and Thyme is finally producing
enough to contribute to my kitchen.

Even the Sunflowers are starting
to shoot up!
 Yes, I overplanted ... that's way too many Sunflowers for one plant pot.  But there was a reason ...

... a very good reason like "WHERE DID ALL THE LETTUCE SPROUTS GO?"

Hmmm ... wreckage ...

I'm GARDENING here ... don't you get that, hu-mum?"

"Now PUSS OFF!  Cuz I'm going to have a NAP
in my garden!"
 Life with La Feline is sure never dull!

So I've been having fun planning my innovative European vacation.  Departure date is Friday July 6!

I had a tough time decided exactly where to start, and finally settled on SPAIN.  I've been brushing up on my Espanol in preparation ... ¿Dónde está el baño?  Cuánto cuestan estas agujas de tejer?  ... I'll be blogging as I travel, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I have a CRAZY work week happening ... 2 staff members away on holidays at the same time (who was IDJIT that allowed THAT to happen?!?!?!), a Board meeting, a monthly newsletter to get out, and so on.  If i didn't already, now I REALLY NEED A VACATION!

Happy July Long Weekend, y'all!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Rainy week

Rain and more rain ...
I know ... forgot to reset the date stamp AGAIN!
... not terribly pleasant on the tootsies (when one is too stupid/stubborn to put real shoes on ...)!  But that's okay, cuz I'm planning a European vacation!  Yup, I'm going to do some travelling next month ... in an innovative way, of course.  Will blog more about my itinerary once my plans are solidified.  STAY TUNED!  (I can hardly wait ...)

In the meantime, I found some more interesting trees and shrubs ...
 These scraggly pines looked like they were sprouting PINEAPPLES ... quite remarkable.
 I don't know what this sad little specimen is, but it's blooms were attractive.
Apparently I did not look very attractive yesterday morning.  It was raining, so I had my pink rain jacket on.  I never really cared what colour it was ... it was waterproof and cheap when I bought it in Vancouver, and it has served me well for quite a few years now.  I'm not sure if it was the rain jacket (pink) that drew that woman's attention, or my purse (emerald green), or my (wet) sandals (brown), or my skirt (navy and cream / tropical floral print) ... anyway, she laughed aloud and said I looked like a THRIFT STORE REJECT!  The nerve!  She did make me laugh tho.  I DO spend very little time dressing all "matchy matchy" ...

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

We Haz Bloomz!

Last Thursday afternoon on my way to a work-related presentation, I happened to walk down a street that is not usually included in my regular travels.  It was a blossomly lovely experience!  So I felt obligated to share ...
What a delicious fragrance!

pls ignore date stamp ...
i haz a mental block against
remembering to change it
when i recharge the camera's battery ...

Oh so pretty!

I don't like the smell of lilacs,
but the new blossom clusters are such a nice colour!

A few trees in blossom is probably no big news to folks in other parts of the world, but it is exciting to me ... only a week had passed since our last snow showers!  Here in "the north" (which is really the geographical centre of the province of BC, not the FAR north), it feels like spring/summer will NEVER get here, then you blink once and IT ALREADY ARRIVED!

Over the weekend, I also found blossomly loveliness in a few other places around and about my own neighbourhood ...
This tree (my apartment building is behind)
isn't the nicest shaped specimen ...
it was run over by a truck two years ago ...
poor thing ...
but the blossoms are SO PINK!

They look so nice ... a long row of them
right down the middle of the street!

These poor beauties are drooping
from the effects of an unexpected rain storm ...
So was I ... I got caught several blocks away from home
and without a sweater or jacket!

I have no idea what this prickly little bush is ...
but the blooms are interesting!

Real good crop of these indestructible beauties!
(They're going to populate the earth
along with cockroaches and earwigs
after the nuclear holocaust ...)
My Dad used to batter and deep fry the blooms ...
We also ate the new greens in salad ...
double yummy!

There is a short cut that I often take on my way home which runs behind two churches, across a green belt, and comes out right beside my apartment building.  Here is the entrance to that short cut path ...
It was about 8:45-ish in the evening when I snapped the picture above.  There was a big steaming pile of VERY fresh bear poop at the other end of this path ... I didn't hang around to take a picture of THAT!  Didn't see the bear that left the "deposit", but guess I'll stay away from this short cut on any early morning / late evening walks now!  Foolish of me to walk there at that hour ... I knew there had been a bear in the neighbourhood just a few days earlier.  Mizz Bootz was quite excited to see it from our balcony!  She spent an hour racing between our bedroom window and our balcony door trying to see it again after it disappeared, and was "chattering" and gnashing her teeth like a deranged Siamese cat all the while!

Here is the cross-stitch picture of the winged lion I have been working on.  Now that I've "de-stressed" myself, I'm finding it hard to focus on this project!  I know ... totally weird ... I can focus on counted cross stitch when I'm over-tired and over-stressed, but not when I'm relaxed and healthy!

This past week has been graduation/convocation time for a variety of people in my work and personal life.  I was delighted to attend one of the ceremonies at UNBC as "rent-a-mom" for one of this year's graduates.  Being back around the academic community makes me wish I was a university student again.  Maybe I will be ... I haven't totally abandoned ideas of completing my Master's degree ... but for now, I'm enjoying a non-academic Aromatherapy program (in my spare time).

Do you have a "bucket list"?  My list of things I want to do/learn/experience before I die is SO LONG that I'm either going to run out of lifetime or have to live to 120+ to accomplish everything!  I think I should retire soon so I can devote more time to my bucket list!