Saturday, 24 May 2008

Meme Meme Meme

Louiz has tagged me for this meme, which is the Peeps I Want To Know More About meme. Here are my responses.

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing ten years ago?
I was still in highschool - grade 10 was just finishing up. I had just moved across Canada the previous fall so I was busy trying to make friends. I had 1 cat and lived with my parents.

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:

play with Emma (my niece, she is 15 mo old and very busy)
take Lucy out for coffee (my other niece, she is 210 mo old and just graduated highschool)
knit (if I have time)
look at camera information online because my Nonna Lucia wants to buy me a camera as a gift for graduating from university (that was 2 years ago but she just realized that she hadn't given me a gift and that error must be rectified according to her...)
spend time with family, tomorrow or Monday I have to go back to the student life.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Milk chocolate, cheese (the good stuff, like bocconcini or parmesan or apple wood smoked cheddar...), chips

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Stop working once the current degree was finished - my level of loyalty to people that invest so much in me is quite high, so to be fair to my supervisor I would finish
Buy house - not sure where, perhaps several houses - but if they are large I would hire a cleaning lady - hmmm perhaps I would do that anyway
go shopping - yarn, computer toys, clothing, books...
adopt quite a few children via world vision - and make a large donation to that charity. even though we don't have a lot of cash right now Cory and I have one little girl that we support. It isn't much of a stretch to think that we would adopt more
HAVE CHILDREN and put money in their RESP funds (education savings plans in Canada)
volunteer somewhere...

5) Places I have lived:
Desbarats ON (outside of Sault Ste Marie)
Cernusco Lombardone, Italy (outside of Milan - lived with my grandparents for 6 months)
Kelowna BC
Edmonton AB (briefly)
Calgary AB

6) Jobs I have had:
Babysitter & Petsitter
Housekeeping (very short lived - approximately 1 week)
secretary for a homebusiness
Mary Kay representative (again short lived, but longer than the housekeeping...)
fast food (sort of, they were a fruit drink place, no burgers or grease)
upper watershed awareness educator (I told people about where our drinking water came from etc in the hopes that they would be more careful about what they did - coop position)
scribe and tutor for disabled students
tutor (paid and volunteer)
research assistant at a university
statistics teaching assistant (university level - this is how I know that I want to teach...)
researcher (graduate school student... and they pay me to be one so I count it as a job)

7) Peeps I want to know more about:
Barbara Prime
Beans and Caviar (Okay, so I know most of it but not all...)
Not sure who else to tag... I suppose this is my list. The others people I might tag either would not answer or have already been tagged

Friday, 23 May 2008


Not much to report from Kelowna. The weather is pretty good and more family arrives today, in fact their airplane should be touching down right about now. I've been knitting but it is either more of the same (more miters, 42 down, 38ish to go), unfinished (the uh-ohs are now a pair), or doll clothes (but I don't have a doll to model them...). So I present to you some pictures from my parents' garden - it is really quite spectacular. Kelowna is one of the few places in Canada that has all 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Other places, like northern Ontario (where I lived for 14 years) has 3 seasons: Mud, Summer, Mud, Winter... And Calgary is just wierd with the chinooks.

And this is my parents' beagle - Zeeke - isn't he adorable? I'm still more of a cat person but Zeeke is special. I'll post a picture of George when I get a good one. George is my tabby cat that lives with my parents. He was a birthday gift when I was 16 but since he is attached to my parents (and vice versa too) plus he is an outdoor kitty, he stays here in Kelowna instead of with me in Calgary.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Here is some proof of spring in Calgary, the leaves are beginning to unfurl. Also, the weather yesterday was hot enough to make my husband complain (28oC I think... not very hot at all I know).

Bells requested some photos of my fat lamb in natural light. I really enjoyed the pattern but I think that the difference in gauge between the snout and the wooly part was too large. He is growing on me a little bit and I know he will be loved by his recipient. I gave him to my mom for her church charity group (same charity that got the elefante before I took a finished picture). I wonder what the kid will name him.

I have started another two toy patterns, I swear they are addictive. The first is Uh-Ohs (by Anna Hrachovec and I love the caption on the pattern: How in the world did they get themselves into this predicament? Knit them and find out!). I was just going to make two that were joined but I think I may make more links. Now I am just waiting for other left over fingering weight yarn to make the other links. I think my mom mentioned having some suitable left overs. I'm heading back to Kelowna for a brief visit on Wednesday. My Nonna Lucia will be there from Italy and my brother, sister-in-law and two nieces (Lucy and Emma, from Edmonton) will be there too. I am super excited all around, Lucy and I are super close (she is only 8 years my junior) and I've only seen Emma once despite only living 2-3 hours away from Edmonton and her being over a year old. Anyway, the picture of the in progress Uh-Ohs

And as I mentioned earlier, I have another toy in progress - another fuzzy lamb (Fuzzy Thoughts, Barbara Prime )- and I love it (well it will be a her/him but without the face on I don't know which it is).

And you can see in the photos the lovely gift that my mom gave me when we went out to Chapters - the three knitting Harmony Guides. I wanted them because I really want to design some knits and perhaps publish them - you know, so the right side of my brain doesn't atrophy... I saw this really great comic once that showed a scientist dancing in front of a blackboard full of mathematical equations with the caption: "every now and then he breaks out into an interpretive dance so that his right brain doesn't atrophy" and I laugh when I think of it. I will start small and go from there but seeing these books on my shelf or on my desk will remind me of this goal. Thanks again mom!

And on a final note, a gratuitous photo of a cat that would rather be sleeping in peace. Ellie meows to be put up on the top shelf of the closet where she will sleep for hours. Luckily she now knows how to get down on her own.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

A Fuzzy Fat Lamb

Pre-capitation (you know the opposite of decapitation..., not my original term - see hint #7 on Fuzzy Mitten)

and post-captiation

This lamb is made from a free pattern by Barbara Prime (Fuzzy Mitten - see the side bar).
I like the pattern but I'm not sure about this toy. It seems a bit off, but I am 99% certain that is the result of yarn choice. Once the toy was put together it has started to grow on me. No name for her/him yet. I will retry the pattern soon-ish with a thinner yarn. Any ideas for a name?

Monday, 12 May 2008

The snow has gone away again Though the weather is unpredictable I have a few plants indoors that are getting ready for the porch. In this picture you can see the 3 pots - the two large plants are sweet million tomatoes. I bought them that size. And the third pot has some sweet basil that is germinating.

And the basil is so tiny and cute. I started talking to the plants yesterday and Cory laughed at me and then told me to stop. I think there was a tickling threat issued too.

There, these pictures at least make me feel like spring is partially here. In other news the mitered square blanket is coming along. I need more colours and will be waiting until my trip to Kelowna before I order some. A yarn store there has some of the type of yarn I am using and perhaps they will have different colours than Michaels. I am still spinning the red fiber. I'm spinning it quite thin so I am getting a lot of mileage and time out of it. I don't know what weight it is or how long it is but I intend to make some sort of shawl out of it - a lacy sort of thing is my hope. And I've started a fuzzy lamb pattern from Fuzzy Mitten (Barbara Prime, see link on the side). I have 2 legs and a part of the body knit. I don't know if I'll keep this one too... Well, time for school. This summer I have a research course and thesis research to do. Plus the writing of my thesis. I was going to work on the writing this weekend but I had to pull an 8.5 hr day at work on Saturday and thus took Sunday completely off of work. Well it is time for me to run around the house to get ready because I was actually only planning to post the pictures with a quick description... oh well.


Friday, 9 May 2008

Snow... Again... in May...

This is what I have woken up to. It has snowed in Calgary again.

Snowfall update:
January = check
February = check
March = check
April = check
May = check
June = ?
July = ?
August = ?
September = ?
October = ?
November = ?
December = ?

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Government Subsidized Knitting

I was listening to the latest Stash and Burn podcast where they asked what we have learned from knitting and it got me thinking: wouldn't it be spectacular if the government would subsidize knitting related activities as a form of treatment for individuals suffering from mental disorders, like major depression, OCD... I make it no secret in the blog or in my every day life that I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder (diagnosed by 4+ psychiatrists oi!) and I was recently lamenting over the fact that there is very little naturopathic coverage here in Canada with the government health plan or my student health plan ($20 per $90+ visit). And so by association I was thinking about what else helps with MDD that isn't covered and I came up with knitting. I knit to relax, there have been days where I come home exhausted and about to go to bed and I literally knit one row just to get a bit of relaxation before I try to fall asleep.

I've tried a lot of conventional medications to treat MDD and I never stabilized on a drug for over 8 years. That means that the psychiatrist had to keep upping the dosage until I got to the maximum recommended dose and then he (or she) would switch to another antidepressant and the cycle would repeat. And the side effects were atrocious. About a year ago I decided to go to a naturopath - now I am on a crap load of vitamins and minerals at strange doses (ex: 2000-3000 mg of vitamin C - that is expensive pee..., but from what I understand it also cleanses my system so although I pee out anything over 200-250 mg (I think) the dosage is still at the correct level for me... but enough about that) and guess what. I've stabilized, I have no side effects and feel as good as or better than I did on any conventional antidepressant - and guess what again - the government doesn't cover ANY of the vitamins/minerals - just like they don't cover my knitting, the nerve eh!?*

Based upon the level of relaxation that I get from knitting I think that it is helping with my MDD. I vote that we should write to our governments to have them cover knitting in our medical plans. I'll volunteer for the clinical trials that test knitting as a relaxation treatment - perhaps they could have separate trials for merino, alpaca, cotton, linen, bamboo... I'll be a good citizen and volunteer for all trials except acrylic (unless the yarn was Berocco comfort, I hear that stuff is good). I figure that they would need provide the yarn so that it was standardized - everyone needs the same quality of medication (yarn). What do you think? Will you write to your government too? Providing me with yarn would cost the government less than hospitalizing me... I think that it is in their best interests. Ya know, I'm just trying to save my country some money - not trying to benefit myself, nooo..., I am being a patriot.

*As a side note, the overall goal and tone of this post was supposed to be funny. It got a bit serious in the middle there but hopefully I left you on a funny note.