Monday, February 27, 2012

Green is the colour of hope Springing

Last week a bunch of the kids and their keepers headed to the local Greenhouse to get a bit of green in our eyes.  It's big enough to feel comfortable with 8 kids at different ages but small enough to know that none of them could make a great escape.

Though they tried:
I think we all felt refreshed seeing plants looking green and lush.  It was easy on our eyes.
For some reason I chose this setting to fool around with my camera settings.  I had been meaning to play with black and white for a bit and decided this excursion was the time.

We have collected a nice group of super charming and fun kids in our neighbourhood and it is fun to try and capture them in their rare moments of stillness.
 Those curls are hard to let go of.
Our charming Peter Pan trying to corral the ladies.
 It was a lovely morning spent in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Family Day

This past week has come and gone like a flash.  Family day weekend was filled with performing and family, exactly as it should have been I suppose.  J started the weekend with improve then we middled the weekend with stand up.  The finale was our monthly Urban Family Brunch, a fantastic event filled with our friends, caesars and eggs. Delicious.

I feel like J and I have eaten at the buffet of family weekend.

Family day, we took it slow and easy and decided to go geocaching in our neighbourhood.  We needed something easy and local to do. This hit the spot!
Our friend Joyce had mentioned that she thought their might have been a geocache in our local park while we were tobagganing the weekend before.  So Jason thought it might be fun to find it.

Digest that for a moment while looking at this picture.
It was a beautiful warm Spring day, in February!

Since I'm working on some secret projects I can't show you quite yet I'm going to take this opportunity to showcase my first handspun, hand dyed toque.  I may have written about it before but it was after Fenner was born so I can't really remember.
Jason carried Marlowe so I got to take a ton of pictures.  I love a man who sprouts a third nipple so attractively while exploring his neighbourhood. This was the first day of a week exploring the theme of community.
I'm heading out of town tomorrow morning so I'm hoping to write more of the week's adventures while I'm up north with Marlowe on a knitting retreat.  I'm packing my snowshoes in hopes that I might get some outside time..

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Homemade Valentine's Day

I know that Valentine's Day is a totally made up  holiday used to give folks a chance to make up for taking their families for granted but I love it. 

Maybe I love it because my expectations are minimal.  Jason tells me everyday that he loves and appreciates me.  He leaves me notes in the morning with cartoon drawings that are funny and that say kind things about the life we lead together.  I know it's completely smaltzy but he's a good illustrator and a really funny guy and I love them.

He started leaving them when he went back to work after Marlowe was born.  I was really nervous about being able to be a parent to two children by myself.  I have high standards and am almost cripplingly afraid of failure.  It was nice to know he understood what a hard job it is.

This is what I got for Valentine's day. Another morning note on a homemade heart and another beautiful handmade mug from the Ontario Crafts Council Guild Shop. I love homemade so much.

It makes me happy to know that the few dollars we spend on each other somehow go further when a specific person or local guild gets the money instead of some enormous nameless corporation.  Maybe that money will get spent somewhere in Toronto...

I'm still sorting our pictures from the year and came across this one.  Remember Spring?  It will come again.  I can't wait to see the poppies in my neighbour's garden blooming!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Small but Finished

Every Sunday night I take an hour and write a list of anything I would like to finish and start in a week.  This list includes knitting and non knitting goals and *might* look like this:

- Finish kneesocks
- Finish colourwork on Fiddlehead mitten
- Take Fenner to the Science Centre
- Use the plantains in this week's Good Food Box
- To do list for baby shower
- Write stand up set (still outstanding....)
- Start reading Last Night in Twisted River

I am not so naive as to think I will finish everything but every day while I make coffee I try and write that days to do list so that I can attempt to stay on track.  The morning to do list might read like this:

- email interested parties in the neighbourhood to get quotes for fundraising letter for the community garden effort
- register Fenner in French Immersion
- Buy avocadoes for dinner - plantain salsa recipe
- Pay bills
- Get on waiting list at 4 daycares
- Find new Audio book

The list method works great for me and keeps me from sitting around in my underwear drinking coffee and force feeding Fenner old Sesame Street episodes on Netflix.

Last week someone sent me a link to this pattern on Facebook which derailed me a little but it was so fast I couldn't stop myself and the detour was over before I'd noticed.  Now everyone holding Marlowe looks obscene.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD. Nothing says adorable like flicking this nipple.

I also finished my snowshoeing socks last week.  I'll be heading up north at the end of the month for a knitting/wine retreat and since there is snow there I plan on taking Marlowe out for her first excursion.  You can expect to see some sweet winter gear presented here in the next couple of weeks.  

Hopefully some more baby sweetness coming through the pipes as well.

Speaking of winter.  We had a cold one last weekend. Check out the sweet toboggan wind burn on these cheeks!
And now, I must make some funny for a stand up gig on Saturday. Sweet. Jesus.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not Illiterate

I know I'm not alone when I say that of all the luxuries I had, I miss the time, energy and concentration the most.  I spent days eating books as though that time would always be there.  I would read 1 or 2 books a week!  After I became a mother it was all I could do to finish 1 or 2 pages in a week. Nothing could keep me awake - it seemed that if I had time to read then that time would be better used snoozing.

Now, I certainly don't want to suggest that two children is the answer, but for some reason my ability to read was returned after Marlowe.  Maybe it was the great recovery, my ability to roll into maternity leave or the quality of authors now a days (doubt it) but I've read four books since January 1st.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was the first book of 2012. It was so creepy and gripping that I couldn't put it down. The found pictures upon which most of the story was based were the most creepy. The story itself was just gripping. I wish I could find the book though, did I lend it to anyone reading this blog?

The Virgin Cure was next on my hit list. Jason got me a whole pile of books for Christmas all of them appealing to my different interests.  This was the story of Moth, a poverty stricken girl left to the mercies of economy and market value.  It's an old story - women have been selling themselves for centuries but it's hard to digest when girls are placed in the same marketplace.  Painful even.

The Midwife of Venice was a period novel about a Jewish Midwife in Venice during the Renaissance.  I couldn't put it down but not so much because of the Midwifery content or the political overtones but because of the romantic novel content. There were no heaving bosoms but man, there was a lot of baby rescuing from evil brothers and husbands sold into slavery in Malta.  True love, man I dig it.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? that review says everything.  I'm still hoping to be the success that balances out the awkward indecisive nerd I was....I'll keep on trucking.  Since reading Bossypants I've developed a little bit of a fetish for women making any sort of a living doing comedy - especially writing or improvising.

On February's deck is: Last Night in Twisted River (it starts with a LOGJAM DEATH!!), and the Complete Stories of Dorothy Parker.  If I make it through both of those books I'll be happy. Things have definitely slowed down around here.

Requisite cute offspring shot. It was so cold last week that Marlowe enjoyed the benefits of wool pants!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Catch Up!

I've been trying to finish something every week. It was really tight this last week but I made it. One of a pair of snowshoeing knee socks. Knee high worsted weight socks made from remnant yarn in a basket. It would have been a breeze to finish except I messed up the calf decreases.

They are going to be perfect for when I go to Haliburton for the annual "Women Who Get Shit Done" Retreat. I hope there's enough snow for Marlowe and I to go snowshoeing for the first and probably last time this season.
Leftover Galway in green from an aran sweater for J and grey that I used in Fenner's blanket.
I also finished the colourwork on my replacement Fiddlehead Mitten. Some folk may remember that last year in the middle of the winter, I lost one while biking to work. It was awful. Luckily, I am loved by knitters and my local yarn store The Purple Purl hooked me up with the remnants of a display kit.

All that love and luck however does not make it easier to focus on a colour chart while playing play dough games with a 4 year old.
Also, either my original mitts had been a bit felted by use, or my gauge has changed dramatically since I knit that first mitt.

I'm just trying to figure out if I need to care deeply about the difference or if it's just right.