Sunday, October 13, 2019

Yopping Update #15 - On the road again

Saturday Evening:

I am in our hotel about to go to bed after a L O N G day which started at 5:15am.  Alarm went off, shower and then we got the last few bags into the camper, grabbed a quick cup of coffee, ensured the cat was in, and by 6:30am we pulled out of the driveway.  

I was a little anxious about making the ferry, because I had hoped for 6:15 departure, but we got to the ferry on time and were boarded and on our way by 8am.

After a ferry breakfast (and more coffee) we settled in for the ride.  Both my guys napped and I spent the time joining a writers group.  Hopefully it will help me get on with publishing my novel.

Then off the ferry at 9:30 and drove into the city where my son's race is tomorrow.  A couple of stops along the way to get a national parks pass needed for our camping trip and for my son to pick up his race package.

We were at the Provincial museum by 11 am and even scored a deluxe parking space (well I thought I had....more about that later.)

We spent 3 hours at the museum which had a wonderful display about the Mayan peoples and another about the indigenous peoples of our province.  It focused on the reclaiming of their languages, but there were amazing masks too,  and in one room there was over a dozen inspiring totem poles. 

By 3pm we were all very tired and it was time to check into our hotel.

Oh look.  A ticket on our truck!   ARGGGGG.  I had misread the time on the ticket and it was only good for two hours.   55 dollars later.   DRAT!!

A nap at the hotel and then a long swim (I was the only one in the pool for 45 minutes), followed by sushi dinner put it all in perspective.  It had been a good parking spot with very little walking which was good for both my husband's knees and my hip!

So now to bed - up early for the race to cheer our boy on. 

Oh, and on the knitting front?  I have started the border on my shawl, but it is left at home as we head out camping after the race.  I did bring along my sloth toy to knit so perhaps I will have something to show next week.

Sunday 10:45 am:

He did it!  And so did we.  What we did was found our way (in our big truck and camper) to the 13km point where he had to pass heading back to the finish line.   It was so great to see his smiling face running by us.

He finished in record time taking 2 minutes off his August time and this race had a lot more hills.

We got parked relatively close to the finish line and he found us and now we are heading for a well deserved breakfast before continuing on our camping journey.  It is a beautiful day.  Sunny with lovely small fluffy clouds.   Perfect weather for wearing my fisherwoman's sweater which I have had on non stop since yesterday morning!

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.  My blogging family is something I am very thankful for.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Yopping Update #14 - The sweater is MINE!


It is done.  And it is mine, all mine.   We have booked our camping trip for the wild, wet, west coast starting next weekend, so I am ready. 

I have enough yarn left over to make a toque to match so I will start that this week. 

Otherwise I have been working on my Knit Slip Love shawl and I am on the final mosaic section before the final garter section and then the border. Who knows?  It may be done by next update. 

My son is here!  We have been playing word games and card games, as well as going to the gym/pool.  My arm is so much better, but now my right hip is causing me a lot of pain. Grrrrr - it is always something. 

I had my third Tai Chi class last Friday and I am really enjoying it. It is a small class, only five of us, so the instructor can help when I get my left and right mixed up (which is often). 

The weather has been hard to predict as we get the camper ready for our trip. Sunny, rainy, then sunny then rainy.  Oh well, I have new rain boots so it is all good. 

I didn't go to Knit City this year.  I didn't need anything, and would only be tempted to buy wool I don't need (besides I had that retail therapy from Winners a few weeks ago I have yet to start knitting with).  Also my hip is so sore I couldn't image walking up and down all the aisles to admire everything so I gave it a pass this year. 

My anxiety is a bit higher than usual with the upcoming trip.  It is par for the course.  Once I am on the road I am fine, but the prep can make me a wee bit crazier than normal. 

I am off for a swim now.  That usually sets things to right for a few hours at least. 

I may be late with an update next week depending on my wifi signal at the campsite.  I am looking forward to campfires and windy/rainy walks on the beach.  That is after we cheer on my son in his half marathon race next Sunday. 

Wishing you all a good, peaceful week.  Hug those your love and smile at strangers you meet.  In the end all we have is each other.

my little Croatian sunflower - 9 months old

When I left my physio on Monday I saw this:

Oops - and I thought I was having a bad day

This is the cruise ship called the Norwegian Bliss - I think it is the largest cruise ship that comes into our harbour.  It can only leave at low tide to get under the bridge, and somebody screwed up because it missed the low tide the night before and had to spend the day by our little park until the next low tide.  That tiny boat to the left of the cruise ship is our seabus that carries 400 passengers from the north shore to downtown Vancouver - just to give you an indication of the cruiseship's size!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Yopping Update #13 - making progress

I am making slow and steady progress on both my fisherwoman's sweater and my knit slip love shawl.  This despite being away from Monday - Wednesday and being sick with a rotten cold from Wednesday and still counting.

My son is arriving on Wednesday for the month of October and he wants to go camping so finishing the sweater is my main priority now. 

Stitch marker shows where I had tinked back last week

So far so good with the arm. I am knitting a few hours a night and switching between the two projects if the cabling on the sweater gets too tedious. 

three sections done this week, three more to go until done
Thank goodness for Netflix as I sit most days in my jammies sipping cold medication.  We have been watching Fleabag, and Kim's Convenience.  Now they are done and I need to find a new binge.  Any suggestions will be appreciated. 

No pool this week because of my cold, and only one short walk on Tuesday.  I will walk to my hair appointment this afternoon.  I am sooooo overdo and will be glad to get my shaggy mop under control. 

Fall is truly here.  The juncos and nuthatches are emptying the bird feeder rapidly, and the stellar jays are happily picking up the left overs.  The poor cat thinks he must be on high alert watching their comings and goings so he is spending most of his days on the porch observing the antics.  The hummingbirds have been squabbling over their feeder, and the squirrels have completely removed all the apples from our trees.  Everyone is getting ready for winter.

My dear grand-daughter turned 9 months old on Thursday and my daughter called us for a nice video chat.  Baby girl is now standing on her own for a few seconds at a time, and babbling away to her gramma in Canada. 

my daughter calls her the boobasaurus

Now, back to that sweater - it needs to be done before the rainy windy camping trip on the Pacific West Coast!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Yopping Update #12 - A lot of knitting - and some tinking

My week started out with taking my car to get a new clutch.  Mucho dollaros!   Sigh. 

On Wednesday I went for lunch and saw the movie "Brittany runs a Marathon" with a childhood friend.  It was good to get out and it even turned sunny for a bit of a walk after the movie.

It was my son's birthday on Thursday.   I have been a mother for 34 years.  He is coming out at the beginning of October for a few weeks so we will celebrate then.  It will be so good to have him here for an extended visit.  It is hard to have both my children living far from my home. 

I made quite a bit of progress on the Fisherwoman's sweater this week, and it was clear I didn't have enough yarn to finish despite using some extra my sister had given me.   So yesterday I took the sweater to my local yarn shop to see if they had something to match enough to finish it up.  She did find the perfect match with some Briggs and Little Sport yarn and if I knit it two strands together it will work very well.  I split the hank into two balls last night and then started to finish the front.  In a fit of pique I decided to tink  (tink is knit backwards) back about 5 inches of the 12 inches of work I had done on the back so I could use the original yarn to finish the front just so there would be no doubt that the front will look uniform.  It was a lot of unravelling but I kept repeating my mantra "No one ever regrets pulling out some work, but they often regret not doing so". 

It is pouring with rain here today on this the first day of Autumn.   I suspect I will need this sweater very soon so it will be my priority to finish it this week. 

When not knitting (and then un-knitting) the sweater, I picked up my Knit Slip Love shawl which is a mosaic knit.  I have finished the third mosaic pattern and I am on to the next garter dot stitch.  It is fairly easy to remember the pattern of each right side row, and then each wrong side row is just knit the knit stitches and slip the slip stitches.  Not too bad TV knitting. 

On the arm front I have made it to the pool eight days in a row to do my arm exercises and yesterday I.....drum roll please....could do up my bra the proper way by reaching behind my back!.  This is progress people.  (and if too much information, my apologies). 

I also attended my first Tai Chi class on Friday.  I signed up for 11 classes - an hour a week.  It wasn't easy, but I think it will be good for me both on the physical and mental level.

Yesterday was a memorial at church.  It was a communion service dedicated to my friend who died on the 10th.  I wept through most of it and have been weeping off and on since.  This death has hit me hard.  I am doing all I can to take care of myself and it is all I can do right now.

Tomorrow I will go spend a few days with his widow.  I will help her navigate the phone calls and paperwork that must be done now.  I think it will be a help to me as well to feel I am doing something.

I have a scratchy throat today and fear I am fighting a virus of some sort.  I did have a shingles vaccine on Tuesday and have been quite tired all week.  So today lots of vitamin C and staying warm in my jammies on the couch.   Netflix, me and my fisherwoman's sweater.  A good trio on a rainy rainy day.  I have started watching the series 'Kim's Convenience' and it is a very good, light-hearted show with lots of laughs.  I need the laughs these days. 

I did get to my Croatian lesson on Friday, but I haven't been practicing as I should so mostly we had tea and chatted in English.  I will get back to it soon.  I think once I am feeling better I will look for a conversational Croatian meet-up group so I am forced to practice listening and speaking.

I have linked to other Year of Project bloggers on the right hand side of my blog.  That way you can get to their posts even if you are not a Ravelry member. 

I can't leave you without a picture of my dear daughter, my grand-daughter and my son-in-law.  A beautiful family!  So much love in this photo.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Yopping Update #11 - 24 and done

Look what's done!

Now to decide how to display them - I might knit the Alan Dart Advent tree.  Stay tuned.

I then picked up my fisherwoman's sweater and have knit about three more inches.

This has been a sad week.  On the way home from the little island on Tuesday afternoon I received the message that my friend had died at noon.  Wednesday my husband and I drove up to his house for the wake and sat with his family for a few hours.  The funeral was yesterday.  I have so many memories of him from the eleven years we have been friends.  It poured with rain yesterday, and today looks no different.  It seems more than appropriate.

This morning I am going to visit a dear friend who is in the midst of chemo treatment.  She wants me to help her knit a shawl so I have gathered some needles and wool for the pattern she has chosen along with a  project bag.

My daughter has been sending me many pictures of my grand-daughter to help ease my sadness this week.  Here is my favourite.

I will end this week with a poem my sister sent me.  It is by Billy Collins.  I read it to my friend as I sat by his body on Wednesday.  I have read it many times over the last few days.  It helps to think of his journey this way.


You know the brick path in back of the house, 
the one you see from the kitchen window, 
the one that bends around the far end of the garden
where all the yellow primroses are?
And you know how if you leave the path 
and walk up into the woods you come
to a heap of rocks, probably pushed
down during the horrors of the Ice Age, 
and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now
against the light-brown fallen leaves?
And farther on, you know
the small footbridge with the broken railing
and if you go beyond that you arrive
at the bottom of that sheep's head hill?
Well, if you start climbing, and you 
might have to grab hold of a sapling
when the going gets steep, 
you will eventually come to a long stone
ridge with a border of pine trees
which is as high as you can go
and a good enough place to stop. 

The best time is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through 
the columns of trees as you are hiking up, 
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of birdsong or the leafy 
falling of a cone or nut through the trees, 
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination. 

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against 
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves. 

Still, let me know before you set out. 
Come knock on my door
and I will walk with you as far as the garden 
with one hand on your shoulder.
I will even watch after you and not turn back
to the house until you disappear
into the crowd of maple and ash, 
heading up toward the hill, 
piercing the ground with your stick.

Billy Collins

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Death is here

Death is in this room
The candle is flickering
The air cool
It is quiet

Death is in this room
A sunflower turns its face
The cat looks expectantly
A frog sings from the log pile

Death is in this room
Memories arise
Some laughter
and tears

Death is in this room
A hug, a few words
A touch, a primal sob
Mostly it is silent

Death is in this room
Not fear
Not emptiness
Not nothing

Death is in this room
You are not
You are heading home
We are not

Written for Arnold Grimm on his passing, September 10, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Yopping Update #10 - Bits and Bobs

It has been a busy few days, and here I am with two hours to spare to make my yopping deadline.

I finished the blanket and gave it to a student of mine to take with her to England as she continues her Marine Biology studies.  She says it will be perfect to ward off the wind when she goes to the 'Hoe' to hang out with friends.  Apparently it is often windy in Plymouth.  Who knew?

garbage picture of blankie on the blocking mat

this is the true colours
I finished spinning the first bobbin (35 gms) of the gray fibre.  I will get to the rest next week (and maybe the next after that). No picture until it is plied because it looks just like last week's photo except the bobbin is fuller.  

My husband moved a few appointments around so I could scurry off to the little island on Thursday morning.  I will head home Tuesday afternoon.  My sister and I have been swimming everyday (my arm is getting better and better), walking the puppies, having dinner with friends, knitting, eating and marketing. 

Today was the Fall Faire.   The dress code was Medieval - this was what my sister found for me to wear. 

There has been some progress on the knitting front - I had to knit another 2 and 5 for my advent mitts because I gave away the first 2 and 5 to my friends for their 25th wedding anniversary.   I have been managing one and 1/2 a day since arriving here.

My sister gave me a chance to go through her remnants of sock yarn so I have lots of new colours to finish numbers 15 - 24!

There was also two trips to the free store where I scored four mini skeins of yarn as well as a couple of books for me and one for my grand-daughter.

So that is my odds and ends, or bits and bobs update.  I am happy to report I am feeling much better this week in body, mind and spirit.  Life in all its glorious ups and downs goes on, and for that I am grateful. 

To follow other yoppers check out their craftiness here. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Yopping Update #9 - Progressing

Sometimes progress is made by going slower, or perhaps by stopping altogether.

By Wednesday this week I was in a full blown funk.  I have one dear friend who is undergoing chemo, another who is, as his wife told me, "Living for the end" and yet another who died early Wednesday far too young.  I was sitting in traffic, staring out the window thinking hard about life and what the point was to it all. 

There is some irony to how I was feeling on Wednesday afternoon, because the previous Sunday I had the most glorious day.  After a long nap my husband and I went down to the waterfront quay for lunch and afterwards we headed outside to listen to this wonderful singer/songwriter named Liam Sturgess. 

It was a perfect afternoon.  The sun was shining, there was a soft ocean breeze and as we sat holding hands I felt so peaceful and loved.  There were little ones dancing (two dressed like little princesses) and other ones trying out their first steps to the delight of all of us that had the fortune to be watching. 

Driving home I noticed all the cones on the fir trees and everything seemed so bright and possible.

An hour later I sat spinning some fibre while my husband made dinner.  It was peaceful until I realized that I could only see sparkly lines out of my left eye which means a migraine is fast approaching.  Fu#K! 

The melancholic in me then put off the beautiful afternoon to the euphoria I get prior to getting a migraine.  Still and all it had been a perfect afternoon. 

So barely three days later the clouds had descended and I was once again understanding why someone might take their own life.   Since the previous Saturday I had been noticing and triggered by people that cavalierly use phrases like - "I wanted to blow my brains out", or "slit your wrists already".  To be clear, dear readers, I was not wanting to take my own life but I could completely understand how another could come to that decision.

I had been thinking that we all should be more careful of our language and phrases like that should be  put away as not suitable in conversations anymore.  Like other phrases that many of us used to use in everyday conversation, and are no longer politically correct, I was reflecting that these phrases that refer to taking one's own life should stop. Even two days ago I was at the pool and noticed everyone at the pool was looking towards the 3 meter board where a young boy was standing at the edge deciding whether he had the courage to jump or not.  I gather he had been there some time and many in the pool had started to chant "jump. jump. jump."  It was very triggering for me and I silently thanked his bravery when he finally turned around and went down the ladder.  I then watched him walk to the one meter board, give a shrug, shake his head and dive into the pool.  "One day, young man, one day you will be brave enough to tackle the 3 meter board.  Today was just not that day."

On the heels of those triggers I came to realize that I was being triggered by social media and how many people post all their happy holiday moments, beautiful family moments, pictures of their lastest restaurant, or home-cooked, meal and I seemed to be endlessly scrolling through instagram and facebook comparing my life to theirs.   It also seemed that I was easily falling into the rabbit hole and spending too much time checking the feed.  So I decided to remove those two apps from my phone.  I also cleaned up my facebook feed and unfollowed many of the pages I had 'liked' because it seemed that my feed was full of their posts and I wasn't seeing anything from the close family and friends I do like to follow on facebook.  I still can check facebook on my laptop, and I am happy that my feed is now more personal and satisfying.  On the heels of that my husband and I watched a netflix documentary on Cambridge Analytica called The Great Hack and how that company used data they had mined from fb and other social media sites to convince the 'persuadables' to vote for Trump in the last election.  It was chilling and made me scrub some of my personal data from my facebook profile.  I already know not to answer personality and other quizzes via fb because they are just data mining apps.  (I don't need to know what dog I most look like, or which actor I most resemble.)

So since Wednesday I have been coming up out of my funk and I know that getting to the pool everyday for 30 minutes to exercise my arm is part of my healing.  I have even managed a few careful front crawl strokes.  I have just over 6 weeks until my birthday and on my birthday I like to swim my age in laps.  This year it will be 64 laps.  I will do it, not all front crawl, but I am determined to work towards that goal.  I will keep you posted. 

I also spent too much time this week trying to get my fitbit to sync with the app and it seems that since fitbit's last update it won't work.  I was getting soooooo frustrated and obsessed until I finally decided to put the fitbit away and delete the app.  I don't need the aggravation and I don't need a little device to tell me I am (or am not) walking enough in a day.  I am enough.  I am doing enough.  Enough.

This is supposed to be a Year of Projects update - but I am one of my projects so forgive the long personal update before getting to my crafting progress.

I did continue on the baby blanket - and I am loving it more the more I work on it.  I think it may be finished by next week.  No picture because besides being bigger it looks the same as last week.

There was some spinning.  I finished the second bobbin of the indigo dyed and then plied it.  I got about 130 meters.  Now I have to think of something to make with it. 

I started spinning another fibre.  I have 105 gms of this lovely gray.  It fluctuates between lighter and darker hues.  I split it into three hanks and put on my smallest whorl.  I have almost completed the first bobbin and I love it so far.  I had to replace the drive band for the first time ever as the one I needed for this smaller whorl had broken.  It only took me three tries to get the tension correct - yay me.

My felted lopi slipper photobombed the picture!

I am disciplining myself to only spin as long as I am enjoying the process and not to obsess about 'getting it done!'  I can get too fixated on finishing the fibre and that can take a toll on both my mental health and my hand.  So easy does it for me. 

I am re-reading Bruce Springsteen's autobiography "Born to Run".  I had read it when it first came out via my local library, but ever since I wanted a copy of my own.  I kept checking the free store on the little island, and my sister continued to do so for me.  No luck.  I had mentioned to a close friend how that book had impacted me, and lo and behold she texted me a couple of weeks ago that she was in a used book store near her cabin and there was the book! 

who knew there where so many books about Bruce

but this was the one I was after!

She bought it for me and I saw her on Monday for lunch and now it is in my hands!  That man can write! He also has struggled with depression and is very articulate in describing how it manifests for him and I can relate to his experiences.  I have been thinking about writing my own autobiography, if only for my children, and perhaps I will once I have finished the next round of edits on my novel.  So much to think about.

Two other shares from this week:   The first tomato from our patio tomato plants (with three more already to go). 

And my orchid is blooming once again - six blossoms this time.

So there is my week.  A little spinning, a little knitting, swimming everyday, visits with two dear friends, daily croatian study and forward progress with my mental health.   All in all it has been a productive week.

To follow other yoppers (and if you are a Ravelry member) check out their posts here.

PS:  My granddaughter is now able to say Ba Ba Ba.......soon she will be able to say Baka!  (that's me).

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Yopping Update #8 - Spinning around

I finally got the spinning wheel out from behind the piano and gave her a whirl.  First I finished London Town which I had started in March and then put away because the drafting was aggravating my arm.  23 gms , 40 meters- 2 ply

Then I work with some unknown fibre for another 17 gms and 33 meters.  I chained plied this one.

Just for fun I took the two remaining balls of lopi pencil roving left over from the slippers I knit and felted earlier this year. I plied them together to make a single.  24 gms and 39 meters

I felt good enough to start a baby blanket with some leftover stash I had.  I wasn't sure about how the colours I had would work together but I am pleased with the result.

It is a slip stitch knit pattern from 60 Quick Baby Knits.

I know that my goal for Year of Projects Nine was not to buy any more yarn.  HAHA!

First I decided to buy the yarn I needed to make a toy sloth.  I HAD to buy some Sirdar snuggly because I didn't have any textured yarn to simulate the sloth's fur. I bought two balls for two sloths, but then of course I needed some matching colours to make the toes and face.  150 gms - 29 bucks.

Then on Friday my husband (yes I am blaming him) wanted to get something at WalMart and I didn't want to sit in the car.  Lo and behold I discovered a bin of remaindered yarn..  Great prices between $1 and $3.60 per ball.   I bought some white for a baby sweater, some coloured self striping to make two more monkeys, some scrubby cotton to make, well, scrubbies, and some gorgeous varigated yarn to make, probably, a shawl of some sort.  Come on - how could I pass up 700 gms of yarn for $22.00?
four balls in front will become two sloths - stay tuned.
I then tackled a larger piece of fibre - some indigo dyed BFL (blue-faced leichester).  I have not quite finished the second bobbin and then I will 2 ply  it. 47 gms.

My husband snuck up on me and took this picture while I spun on the sunny deck.

this is my 'what the heck are you doing' face
almost finished

I got to the pool 5 times this week, and had a good croatian lesson on Friday.  I found some croatian novels written for beginning students and my teacher and I worked through five chapters of the first one.  I felt quite good that I could understand most of it! Onward.

Speaking of Croatia.....look at what my unuka (grand-daughter) is up to already!

She is determined to walk before 9 months I think

So add to the week a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party, a couple of doctor visits and my two support meetings and I can say it was a full week. I am pretty sure today will be spent relaxing and reading my new purchase - I went to Michaels to source more yarn for my baby blanket, but nothing matched what I needed - and then this jumped into my empty arms and followed me home:

It has all sorts of cools things inside - mini journals, post-it notes, stickers, posters, colouring pages, collage ideas.  I hope these activities bring my anxiety down a couple of notches.

I am starting to get feedback from the first readers of my novel.  Three to date and another meeting tomorrow.  It is nerve-wracking, but the comments so far have been very helpful and supportive.  Who knows?  This novel may be published yet!

Summer seems to be coming to a close - the weather is rainy and cooler and we were SOOOOO tempted to put on the furnace a couple of nights ago.  I REFUSED because it is still AUGUST, but there were extra blankets and a hot water bottle that kept the chill away. 

The weather report is calling for sun and heat this coming week.  We shall see - I am not holding my breath (Unless I am in the pool, and then I am holding my breath!)

To follow other yoppers check out their week's updates here.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Yopping Update #7 - All flowy and dancey

I finished the crocheted tank.

I love the colour and how flowy and dancey it is!   I am not sure I would ever wear it anywhere but I do love it.

One intrepid reader took on the math challenge from last week - so check out her answer and my reply on the previous post if you were curious.

That was it on the crafting front.  I had my cortisone shot on Monday and I do think it has helped some.  I am not knitting or crocheting at all, which probably also helps.

We got away camping for two nights with our honourary grand-daughters and had a great time.  I swam in the lake twice, lay in the sun ALL day and we made smores over the fire at night. My friend paddled my around the lake in the kayak and I just sat there like Cleopatra on her barge.  Very relaxing and decadent.  We learned to play Washers, which is a game like horseshoes, and it turns out I was very good at it - and that was using my left arm!  Maybe I am becoming ambidextrous after-all.

This was the first time taking our camper out this year.  What?  True.  And there were a few bumps in the road.  First when we filled up with water we noticed the spigot under the camper was open so the water was just pouring out as we filled it up.  We couldn't get the hatch open to close the spigot - it needed some WD40 so we improvised by plugging the with a pen wrapped in duct tape!   Not pretty but it worked. 

We decided we had better go buy a water jug so we found a hardware store in the little town and when we got out my husband noticed one of the tie downs for the camper was very loose.  As we were inspecting it more closely the bar that the tie down attaches to came off in his hand!  The metal had rusted right through!. So we drove to the lake (another 60 km) with only 3 tie-downs holding our camper on.  The last 17 km was a gravel road and very bumpy.  I was quite anxious about the remaining tie-downs but we made it and hoved into view with two little girls jumping up and down very happy to see us.

I went into the camper to start getting things out for dinner and to turn on the fridge and what met my eyes but all of our plates had fallen out of the cupboard (bumpy road) and there seemed like a mountain of broken dishes.   In reality we only lost three bowls, but Corelle-ware when it shatters, it shatters into a million sharp shards.

Sweeping, dustbin and one bandage later and we were ready to get dinner going.

By morning the WD40 had worked its magic and we got the hatch open.   As it turned out the drinking water at the lake was delicious so the water situation was fine.

We drove home carefully and the camper remained securely on the back of the truck.  On the way home we saw a momma grizzly bear and her two cubs right in the middle of the road.  Very exciting!

That's it for me - I think the cat has forgiven us for being away for two days, and now I have laundry to do and my husband has to get the tie-down bar repaired.


Never a dull moment.

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Yopping Update #6 - When in doubt do the math

I have been slowly working on the kerchief tank top and kept having to count every row to make sure I had the correct number of double crochets so that each square would be, well, square.  Finally after finishing square two I decided to do the math to see how it grew proportionally.  This made square number three much much easier.

Row 3                Row 4

44                       36
76                       52
108                     68
140                     84
172                     100
204                     116

Row 3 is dc in every stitch and Row 4 is dc, chain 1, skip one etc around the square. Both rows have 2dc,ch2,2dc in the corners.

Can you see the pattern?   A little brain teaser for you - I will post the answer next week.

I am part way through square four and then to put it all together and add the edging and the straps. (That will likely be a brainteaser for me).

After number 2 square I decided to rewind the cotton from the cone it was on into a proper ball so it unwinds easier in the yarn bowl.  This allowed me to weigh it all as well (remember the cone, all 454 gms of it came from the little island's free store).

So after knitting two produce bags and the four squares for the tank I still have at least 179 gms left.  This should be enough for a little baby sweater I think.

Other than that I did get to the pool 4 times, went to a couple of mental health group meetings, saw the doctor about my arm (I am getting a cortisone shot in my shoulder tomorrow), and spent time reading on the back porch and we even spent one evening lying on the beach.  Yesterday it rained so I spent most of the day indoors blogging, crocheting and netflixing!  (new verb).

Today it is raining still, and to be honest my anxiety is kicking my ass. I think I do know what has brought it on and probably a good session spent writing about it might help.  Stay tuned.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Yopping Update #5 - Queue reorganization

I forgot to report on an important task I accomplished last week.  I went through my queue on Ravelry and.....drum roll please.....organized it into sets!!!

I had upwards of 130 things I want to knit/crochet in my queue and while I was picking out all the advent things I wanted to knit I realized at the same time I could put all the sock patterns together, all the shawl patterns, all the baby knits, etc.   While doing this I also weeded out those patterns that grabbed my attention at one time, but which I am no longer keen to make.  (There was only about 3 of these!)

So as I work first through my advent knits, I am s l o w l y reducing my queue and when I do decide it is time to knit a pair of socks again, or a shawl, or a toy for the grand-daughter it will be much easier to find them.

This week I have continued to work on the advent calendar.  After I finished number 6 I decided to frog the number 3 because it was too big, and after number 7, I re-knit 3 with a more appropriate size yarn.  Much better. Here is my progress now - 1/2 way there!

However, knitting these little mitts are like eating potato chips - you can't just knit one.  One a day would probably be ok with my arm, but I am over-doing it so they will go into time out for the foreseeable future.  I promised both my hubby and our best man last night to give knitting a complete rest - and who could say no to these two guys:

free photo booth at Bard event complete with dress-up hats.

I also figured out the crochet tee pattern and have almost completed the first square.  I am sure it will not be something I will wear, but I will  find a recipient who would rock the look.  Otis photo-bombed my progress:

Last night we celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary by attending a wonderful event put on at Bard on the Beach.  Every summer red and white tents go up at Kitsilano Point and they put on four different Shakespeare plays from June through until September.  On the nights that coincide with the Festival of Lights (fireworks displays by three different countries) the Bard hosts a salmon BBQ along with one of their plays and then the theatre goers have awesome front row seats to the fireworks.

Besides falling only a few days after our anniversary, it turns out that last night it was team Croatia that put on the display.  Since that is now my daughter's home we HAD to go and represent Croatia with our beach towels that display the Croatian flag and map! 

We took along our best man too (he is the one in the above pic with the 'stylish' dressup glasses!).  We saw Taming of the Shrew (done in a western theme) and that was exciting also because when I taught grade 8 in 2004 that was the play my class put on for the school and their parents. One of my students (the one who played Petrucchio) did the sound for the production last night.  He was my student for five years and it was exciting to see his name in the program.

The weather has been great this past week - good enough for another ex-student (now friend) to come and help rake up the yard and start to set things to right.  With my arm raking and mowing and sweeping are out of the question. 

We had company staying with us early in the week.  A dear friend is in the hospital and they live far away so his wife stayed with us for two nights while he received the treatment he needed.  We had a nice long visit with him on Tuesday and our prayers and love went with them both as they headed home on Wednesday.  Excuse my language here but....Cancer is a Bitch.  F&ck Cancer.

Thank you to my insurance company my car is now fixed and although I had to pay the deductible, insurance covered the rest without any hassle. 

Otherwise I did go for a massage on Tuesday for my hip and back and it helped a bit and she gave me some exercises to-do.  I have to get serious about doing ALL these exercises I have now so I can get back into the pool for some real swimming.  I miss it so terribly. 

My dear nephew posted this page on facebook yesterday and it so resonated with me.  I will share it here as a reminder to us all:

Blessings to all of you dear readers wherever you are and whatever journey you are traveling.  Life is not for the faint of heart - but we are brave when we are kind to one another.