Monday, February 26, 2007

Sign of spring

I just checked the weather page and for the first time in months, there is a UV index. I'm sure that this is no big deal to all you people in warm climates, but up here it is a cause to celebrate! Until I remember that when I was a kid there was no such thing as a UV index and it took all day at the beach to get a sun burn.

Melanie, if you check my profile, and click on the e-mail icon, you can e-mail me directly and I can sent you the info about our spinning group. Hope to hear from you.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm a leftie and never knew it!

Tonight was my spinning group meeting and while we were all there spinning, chatting, and what-not, one of the ladies asked if I was left handed. "No" was my reply, "Are you?" She was a right handed person too. As was everyone eles there. But I, apparently, was spinning left handed. ? I had actually tried to spin with the other (right) hand a few weeks ago when I was giving the wheel quite a work out and had a bit of cramping in my left hand and I just couldn't do it. How weird is that? My first though was to wonder if this was some sort of body memory from a past life. In my universe, almost anything is possible.

So now I'm wondering if any of you right handed people spin with your left hand? Or I suppose that if you are a leftie, do you spin with your right? Enquireing minds want to know!

Edit: When I say spin leftie, what I mean is that my left hand is closest to the wheel while my right is holding the bulk of the fiber.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Thanks for all your well wishes. Thankfully, we were not terribly hard hit by the flu. Not like the Sidney Fly from about 7 or 8 years ago. THAT was a bad flu. Bill was in bed for two weeks. He missed Christmas entirely. I was down for a week and brought the kids out to my moms house so that I could get a bit of rest. That was a BAD flu. We are almost all better now. Except for Nicole. She seems to go from being a bit better to feeling a bit worse. Maybe it's because the house is a little cool and she has an aversion to clothes. Her motto is "Naked is better when you are 3". Personally, I just keep putting on more sweaters these days. But it seems that we are coming out of the deep freeze now. Tomorrow is suppose to be hovering around freezing. You know that it has been cold when you look at the weather page and say"-10 this morning. That's not too bad."

My big disappointment came on Sunday. Sunday was actually a nice day. Little wind, sunny, just around freezing. I was feeling better and decided to go for a walk to gather up a few things for a green Thai curry that had been hovering in my mind for a few days. I walked up to the local independent Chinese grocery store (the Friendship Store) to pick up some coconut cream for the dish. Unfortunately they were closed on Sundays. Who knew? So I hiked down to the local independent grocery/meat store (Victory) to pick up a few other things to go into the dish and decided that I would give the Superstore a try for coconut cream. After searching the isles, I finally had to ask at the service desk if they had such a beast as coconut cream. " Yes" was the answer. I was told where to find it and find it I did. but it said "cream of
coconut" "Same diff" thinks I. Whoa. Was I wrong. Apparently the sh*t that they sell as "cream of coconut" is some foul concoction for making pina coladas. The first ingredient was sugar. A sad fact that I didn't find out until I opened the $4 can and saw the clear,thick liquid surrounding the mass of white chunks. In the end, my savoury, spicy curry dish was cloyingly sweet. So sweet, in fact, that Liam (aka Snack Snack Sugar Lips) said that it was too sweet. Lesson learned. I never though that I would be compelled to wash a curry dish, but I did. I put the mess in a
strainer and rinsed it. Yesterday on the way home from work, stopped at the local independent health food store (Aura), picked up some REAL coconut milk and tried it
again. The dish was still a bit sweeter than normal, but much better. And I am having the leftovers for lunch. Speaking of which, I'm hungry.

Happy Hump Day

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Ugh. So it has now hit everyone in the house except for Bill. It is also strange in how it effects everyone differently. It hit poor Simon the hardest. He was down for three days. He has just reported that he feel better.

Gotta go though. Small girl wants a book read. I'm hoping it is not one that I have memorized.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why did I want snow?

Well, today was a snow day for myself and the kids. Bill had to go to
work for the afternoon. Wonders of wonders, the powers that be actually
cancelled university classes for the morning. Thank heavens. That meant
that Bill could help shovel before he had to go to work. We had snow
last night, followed by some rain and then we are being plunged back
into the deep freeze by late this afternoon. So there was no waiting
for later. It was hard to shovel the wet snow, but it would have been
impossible to shovel the solid frozen mass that it would all become.
Kora, from upstairs, came out and did her part too. It is so nice to
have neighbours who will help with the shoveling chores. We have had
several who wouldn't even shovel the front steps. Now I am slightly
sore and tired.
So I took one of those online tests. This one was
pointed out by Judy

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I always liked Elinor. Although I don't think that I could live up to her example.

I hope to get some spinning done this evening. I've been a good girl and deserve a treat.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I thought that this was common knowledge. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because I have know about this strange reaction for years. My sister and I used to do this all the time when we were kids. Why? Again, no idea. Some things kids just DO. I feel sorry for a lot of kids these days. Some are so schedulized and watched and kept near that they have no time to explore and experiment like we did as kids. You know who you are. You are the ones who wouldn't want your kids to do what you did when you were a kid. I some days have to take a deep breath and let my kids go when we are at my parents house. They live on a farm and there are all sorts of potential dangers. But there are all sorts of learning opportunities too. We ran wild from June to September and I survived. The things that I have to worry about out there are inanimate and not living breathing beings. Some people are scary. To all of you scary people, I say "GO AWAY".
But enough of that. The funny reaction that I mentioned earlier was the simple fact that you can clean pennies (and any copper) of corrosion with ketchup.
It is science fair project time and Mira finally decided what her project was going to be. She had made a battery with zinc washers, pennies, lemon juice, and paper towel a couple of years ago with her papa and decided that this was what she would do for her project. Bill decided to bump up the demo (and at the same time make a piece of equipment that he may be able to use in his first year lab as a demo) and make a battery cell using copper plates and zinc flashing all soddered together in a battery type cell structure (in reality, a pill case). I was helping to clean the copper and zinc plates and Bill wanted me to sand all of the copper plates to clean them. "Why don't I just use ketchup?" I asked. Well, I'm not going to get into the discussion that followed, but let us say that the sceptic was soon converted. Converted to the point that he told a few people at work today about the wonders of ketchup on copper as a cleaning agent and they were all amazed! Who knew? Just one of those useless bits of childhood information that actually turned out to be useful.
Don't believe me? Just dump some ketchup on some dirty, scuzzy pennies. It only takes a minute and they look shiny and new. Did you know this? Or are we New Brunswick farm girls just weird?
And you though that ketchup was just for fries!

happy V-day

Happy Valentines Day all! I hope that it is a good one.
Today is a working day for me, so when I polled the kids last night at supper as to what they wanted to eat tonight for supper, I sadly had to shoot down Pizza and Lasagna. There were a few other dish ideas tossed out on the table, but the clear majority turned out to be pesto. And salad. That is for me. I feel that I need to chew on some crunchy green stuff to combat all of the cookies that I ate on Monday. This week is Teacher Appreciation week at the Boys elementary school and I had volunteered to do something or it. Bake cookies was the easiest thing, but it turned out not to be the wisest. Butterscotch chips and I get along too well.
I had recently been a part of a recipe swap hosted by Amanda and there are some tasty dishes there, but a lot of them take more prep time than I have between getting home from work and having supper on the table before the kids "die from starvation". But on the good side, tomorrow looks like it is going to be a snow day and I will have a bit more time to cook. 15 -20 cm of snow and then some rain in the morning. Rain! Can you believe it? After the deep freeze that we have been in all this time, it is going to rain. Global warming for you. The clouds must be able to retain a lot more heat than they used to.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Note to Self.....

When Pyrex says " from stove top to oven" the don't really mean it.

Yesterday was one of those rare days when Bill had to be downtown at lunch. After he did his business, he stopped at Victory and picked up a few things including Chicken breasts. He lovingly brought these home, chopped and diced and poured various thing on them and left them to marinate. So (joy and bliss) when I got home from work, supper preparations had begun. I still had to cook it, but the thinking part was done. Note: "the thinking part was done". Apparently it was really finished for the evening.
I decided to steam some carrots, put rice on, and make a onions-mushrooms-red pepper concoction. Sounds good? Hmmmm.
So I put the carrots on to steam. Turn the oven on to preheat. Move the glass dish that the chicken has been marinating in to the stove so I can pop it into the oven as soon as it gets up to temp.
Have I mentioned that we got a new stove a few months ago?
On my old stove, the top dials were the back burner and the bottom dials were the front. Makes a bit of sense. Right? On the new stove the dials are reversed. You would think that by now, I would be able to get it right. But no. I apparently turned the chicken in the glass pan on to steam, while the carrots sat there cold. I heard a "plip,plip,plip" and thought "that doesn't sound right". And sure enough, there was the chicken, in the glass pan, on a red hot burner, boiling. Oops. "No worries", thought I. And I popped it into the almost up to temp oven.
So far so good. And then.....
About 5 minutes later, I heard a loud shattering sound. Followed by hissing. Picture if you will screaming Jackie running to the oven, opening the door to make sure that it really is what I think it was ( duhhh, what else could it have been?) shutting the kitchen door, opening the back shed door to let out a bit of the smoke. And then proceeded to laugh my fool ass off. Have I mentioned how cold it has been lately? Well last night was no exception. After the smoke cleared a bit, I looked back in the oven to find the chicken, high and moist, sitting on the rack, while the marinade and a whole lot of glass sat on the bottom. What to do.
Well, in the end I did what any frugal person would have done. 6 chicken breasts does not come cheap, so I washed them, checked for broken glass, put them in a stainless steal pan, and cooked them on the stove top while I cleaned out the now cooled down oven.
Thankfully when Pyrex breaks, it doesn't break into shards, but shatters into chunks. And even more thankfully, it was in a contained space. Can you imagine the mess that it could have caused? And if any of the kids had been standing around, the results could have been much different.
It was delicious, by the way. And now my oven is clean. Sort of.
Have a happy weekend. I hope the sun is shining where you are.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

So what else is new?

It's cold here in the great white north. Well below freezing in fact. Tonight's low is -23C (-9F) with wind chill -34C (-28F). So to those of you who have flowers in your back yard, could you keep it to yourself for a few more weeks? I'm having a bad case of envy of some of you who live in a more, shall we say moderate climate. We should be over the worst of this in a week or two. I hope.

On the craft front, I have decided to frog the two socks that I have started and that have been sitting in my basket not being worked on. The first is some hot pink/blue/purple ones that I though that I liked, but I guess that I really don't. The others are the (sigh) lorna's laces. Again. You see, I am really a weaver and although I want to be a knitter, I don't know that I will ever progress beyond simple knit and purl socks. Well, I do know the ssk stitch that you use to make heels but beyond that.....? I have tried several different sock patterns, beautiful sock patterns, lacy, textural, cabled (mock of course) sock patterns and I'm struggling with them. And between you, me, and the gate post, right now I have enough struggles that I really don't feel the need to struggle with socks. Maybe some day in the future when things are less demanding I will haul out the lacy sock patterns again (they are sexy!), but for now, I am going to knit only from sock patterns that I have had success with. And thankfully I have a pattern for fine socks and two for heavy socks. Having said that , I have started a new pair of socks. These are from some muted purply pink merino yarn that I had dyed to sell at market before Christmas and I have two skeins left! I am about three inches down the cuff of the first one. So far, it is all good.

I have put a crackleweave warp on an 8 harness loom at the college, and so far I haven't liked any of the samples that I have woven. This may be because it isn't a true crackleweave, but more like a progressive point twill (even though it was called a crackle weave on In any case I am cutting and rethreading to a traditional type crackle. I think that the pattern that I have on now would look beautiful if I were to use single coloured warp and single coloured weft, but I am working with a painted warp and the results are less than stellar.

I really haven't had much luck with my work in January. Even some of the dying that I did turned out crap. No luck at all. Except for spinning. Spinning is going really well. So well in fact that I am soon going to have to get myself some new roving. I just keep spinning and spinning and spinning. I'm glad that something went right in January. But now it is February and I have a few new things to try. But more about that later.

And the last "new" thing? No camera so no pictures of re-balled wool, crappy not-crackleweave or the couple of new skeins of hand spun. With the exception of the handspun, your not missing much. Oops, almost forgot my sock cuff, but I'm sure that you can use your imagination.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Just 'cause

What is that strange pink thing?
Why, Nicole of course, modeling her new dress-up thing.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A poem

For blogger (silent) poetry reading found on Grace's Poppies

Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o' war
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And evertone wins.

Shel Silverstein - 1974ish

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Small Pleasures

A few weeks ago, the carafe for my small (4 cup) old (about 11 years) coffee maker slipped from my hand and broke in the sink. "Ah Ha!" I thought. "A sign!" The Co-op that we belong to was having a sale of in stock small appliances. "Another sign!" So off Nicole and I trek to the Co-op. There were several choices of coffee makers ranging from the kind that will give you a foot rub while you drink (read waaaaayyyyy out of my price range) to the basic no frills. And a little ways up from no frills was the no frills programmable. I'm loving it! I set it up at night, push the "auto" button and when the alarm goes off at 6:30, there, ready and waiting is coffee. How bloody civilized. I know that some of you have had this technology for years, but in my house it is new and pure bliss.

Oh, and I am still spinning like a mad woman. I am glad that I can dye my own roving or by now I may have resorted to spinning the dryer lint.