Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hodgepodge

Today's post is a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. In no particular order:

There's been a grave robbery. I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and hiked up Teapot Hill last Thursday. I was disappointed to see that Brown Betty's remains have been disturbed. Whoever took her from what was supposed to be her final resting spot deserves the mess they are going to have when she leaks all over their kitchen. A few new teapots have been added since I was last there. This miniature Winnie the Pooh was my favourite.




These tree trunks remind me of Celtic cables. Maybe I'll try hiding my next broken teapot under one of them.




I love this article about a couple who have been married for 78 years. 

Has anyone else noticed the new and extremely lazy labelling on fresh produce? I used to be able to pick up something like a container of spinach, lettuce or kale and see where it was grown. Now every container says the same thing: Product of USA and/or Mexico. This really irks me. Sorry, I know I shouldn't be so negative, but it matters to me where my food originates, how it was grown and harvested, and what standards are in place to make sure there isn't a boatload of chemicals dumped on what we consume. I'm not saying we eat only organic foods, but I do try to avoid buying food from places where there is little incentive to raise food in a way that makes it safe for consumption. And I don't understand why it is when someone visits Mexico they have to be very careful not to eat unpeeled fresh fruits and vegetables, and they are never supposed to drink the water straight from the tap, yet we get all these imported items from there that are supposed to be okay. Am I the only person who has noticed this new labelling? 

On a more positive note, it seems like my generation can breathe a collective sigh of relief. We were the ones who grew up with parents who smoked like chimneys, and for years have been reading how all that second-hand smoke we breathed in was almost as bad as if we had our own two pack a day habit. It turns out that was a myth. As the child of two heavy duty smokers this was definitely good news. 

Remember the socks I knit up last summer out of Rowan's new Fine Art sock yarn? I wasn't sure at the time if the yarn was best suited to making socks. I wanted to give an update and say these socks have actually been some of my favourites this winter. They are toasty warm and have held up very nicely, which is saying something since my socks tend to get a good workout because of all the walking I do. 

My husband enjoys drinking craft beer. I'm not a beer drinker, and to me connecting the word craft with beer seems wrong on so many levels. This is the specialty beer he had yesterday. 




I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Is it a take-off on the new holiday fad of finding the ugliest sweater possible to wear to the Christmas party? Or did the brewer have a bad experience with a Mary Maxim sweater when he was a child? 

I should never have said in my last post that I hoped the appliance guys' arrival didn't end up being material for another blog post. If I told you that on Wednesday afternoon they phoned from their truck to say they had just turned onto the Columbia Valley Road - this would be the only road that goes down the lake to where we live - and the RCMP had the road blocked off in both directions, would you believe me? Probably not. I wouldn't have believed it myself had it not been for the fact that they never showed up. Delivery was rescheduled for Saturday, and I'm happy to report they actually did arrive. I was pretty much alone in that feeling of happiness. When they looked at the machines wedged tightly against the wall they were incredulous. 




I sat on the couch madly knitting away trying to calm my nerves while I was looking over at scenes like this.




This is the back deck after the now "not so new" machines got unwedged. The replacement machines are the white ones. The picture is a bit deceptive in terms of size. It makes it look like the new white machines are about the same size, but if you look at the size of the door opening you can tell they are actually quite a bit smaller. 




The truth is I already hated the new washing machine they hauled away. After almost every load I would find an item of clothing caught up in the rubber seal around the drum. And it had committed the unpardonable sin of felting Fergus's red sweater I knit for him. I have never, ever had something knit with superwash yarn felt in the machine before, and I have washed loads of superwash items over the years. I'm encouraged by the fact these are European machines. After all, they make terrific cheese and chocolate. I'm hoping that skill set somehow carries over to appliance design. Now this really should be my last post about the washer and dryer!





29 comments:

  1. I read that article and thought, poor little girl of fifteen!

    The washing machine felting a sweater reminded me of how, when i was a child, my uncle and aunt had only the copper in the kitchen for washing clothes. There was a gas ring under it...they filled it with water and steeped and then washed the clothes.
    When my aunt was ill and the laundry was mounting up, uncle thought he would take charge.
    He filled the copper, lit the gas and set to.
    Except that he took no account of temperatures and brought the whole caboodle to the boil.
    Proudly, after emptying the copper and rinsing, he put the clothes on the line and went upstairs to tell his wife the good news.
    He said he had never seen so fast a recovery...in one bound she was out of the bed and at the window.
    One shriek later and she was out in the garden recuperating the woollies which had shrunk to doll size and the bedlinen dyed a tasty shade of army khaki...before the neighbours could see them.

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    1. Fifteen was very young, and it sounded like she didn't have much say in who she got to marry, but it sounds like it ended up being a good marriage. What struck me about the story was how much times have changed, from him racing down a raging river to win her hand, to now when their story is being spread around the Internet.

      That is a funny story about your aunt and uncle! Although I'm sure your aunt didn't think it funny at the time. :-)

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  2. I like this "a little bit of this, a little bit of that" post. This is just what life is like, isn't it? Your Rowan socks are very pretty, I have never used self patterning sock yarn and might give it a go. The picture with the two washing machine installers gave me the giggles. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the new machines to work. As for food labelling, I am just like you, I want to know where my food is grown and luckily, the labelling is ok here, for now. Cx

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    1. Life is definitely like that, Christina. :-)

      Self patterning sock yarn is lots of fun to knit with. There are lots of different choices, but one of my favourites is Opal yarn. It comes in all sorts of fun colourways.

      Thanks for crossing your fingers regarding our new appliances. We need all the crossed fingers and toes we can get!

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  3. Very interesting post. You're allowed one more post about the new washing machine. We need to know if you like it after using it! ☺ I love the idea of the grave yard for broken crockery....we've discovered a farmer's trash pit in our woods with such items--not as romantic as hiding them in the base of those wonderful moss-covered tree roots. It looks like you disturbed the fairies having a tea party!

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    1. As long as the washing machine post is about whether or not I like it that's okay. I just don't want to write about any new catastrophes! :-)

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  4. So pleased you finally have your new machines, and hopefully they will be winners! Sounds like that washer wasn't meant to be at all!

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    1. No, that washer needs to go live in someone else's house. A washing machine that felts superwash wool isn't welcome here. :-)

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  5. We also have noticed the produce of USA or Mexico. But our bell peppers right now - Produce from Mexico or Isreal ... ?!?!? I get the Mexico/USA one as it could be the same company with farms in both countries. But Mexico or Isreal? Really, you're not sure which one?!
    Love the picture of the installer holding the partner by his ankles. Too funny.

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    1. That's crazy - I haven't seen the Israel label yet! I am convinced it's because the producer wants to save time and money. I think the government should require imported food to state exactly where it was sourced from.

      The ankle hold is funny now, but trust me, it wasn't while it was happening. That's why I was knitting like a mad woman. :-)

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  6. What good sports were those washing machine guys! Hope the new machines are everything you ever wanted in a machine, especially no felting. I have a European machine which I don't really like but the older Australian one I always loved is no longer available :( Like you, I like to know all about the food I purchase - that is quite outrageous to have a label with 2 options. Cheapskates!

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    1. They were very good sports. I got the feeling they would really have liked to use some bad language, but they refrained. I sure hope the European machine I just got isn't the one you have that you don't like!

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  7. That photo of the one guy holding the other's feet made me laugh out loud, literally! Poor Kristie. That really must have been nerve-wracking. I enjoyed your tidbits of information in this post. I had not heard that about second-hand smoke, but I have to say I'm relieved too because my parents were also heavy smokers. I've always worried about the effect it had on me, especially since I had pneumonia at least once while under their roof. I hadn't seen the produce labels yet either but that's really interesting and I agree with you. I wish I could buy everything organic and/or locally grown, but it's just not possible. Maybe someday. For now, I'll try to be more careful about labels, I guess. The ugly sweater beer is funny! My husband is into craft beers too, though he usually ends up with somewhat mainstream stuff from Costco. He has brewed his own too and we've had fun trying to come up with names for it, none of which would have helped us sell any beer if we'd tried to do so. :)

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    1. I think you should do a post on some of your craft beer names, Jennifer! I bet you came up with better titles than Ugly Sweater. :-)

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  8. Poor Betty! Some people have no respect for anything. About the imports, I'm with you. If I can't eat them in Mexico, why is it okay in my house? Because I'm closer to a bathroom??? I also worry about fountain drinks. DC water is not the best--almost everyone filters their water. But is the water going into a soda fountain filtered? What's in that lemonade???

    I wondered how the appliance guys could possibly get to the hook-ups for the machines. That particular delivery and pick-up would have convinced me to seek another line of work. :)

    I probably drank almost as much beer while underage as I have since--not much on either side of the divide. It's just not for me.

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    1. Ha! You are too funny - yes, maybe it is because the bathroom is only a few steps away. :-)

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  9. Okay you gave me a great laugh today with the photo of one many holding the other by the legs, and poor Betty, may she RIP. Hope you are thrilled as can be with your new washer and dryer.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. So far, so good with the new washer and dryer. Given our track record, I'm not holding my breath though. I do think they are a bit bigger than our last apartment sized machines. I had to divide our king size bed sheets into two loads before, but I think I will be able to fit them into one load in these. That alone is an improvement!

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  10. That was lovely reading about the couple that have been married for 78 years! I'm not surprised you were nervous when they came to move the machines. It looked a difficult job!! Thank you for showing the difference between the machines for me. Hope you find the European models better and they don't ruin any of your knitted pieces. Sarah x

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    1. Wasn't that a sweet story, Sarah? Such a sweep of history that couple has lived through. I took the picture of the machines just for you, but I had a hard time showing the actual difference in size. The way they were sitting on our back deck had the bigger one to the back so it made the smaller ones look larger than they really were.

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  11. The photo of the workmen is priceless ... and I do hope the new machines work better than the not-so-new.

    Thank you for the news about second-hand smoke! What a relief THAT is.

    Those vague food labels are extremely annoying, and I've often asked myself the same questions about Mexican produce. Perhaps one day we'll find out it's as harmless as second-hand smoke.... :)

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    1. When I saw what they were doing I quietly grabbed my iPhone and took a couple of pictures. I knew there was no way I could describe what was going on, and decided a picture would say it all for me. :-)

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  12. Oh my, I love that beer name and the bottle design! I have no idea why they would choose that name for a beer, but it's funny. And speaking of funny, the picture of the guy holding the other guy's feet while he dangles behind the washer? Priceless. Thanks for making me smile on this cold night! ~Kim

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    1. Glad I made you smile, Kim. :-) When I happened to see the name on the beer bottle I asked Jay if he could please leave the bottle on the island in the kitchen when he was done. He looked shocked because he knows it drives me crazy when he doesn't put them immediately into recycling. But I needed to be able to take the picture in the daylight.

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  13. Just catching up with all your news :)

    Brilliant pic of the workmen ... I can just imagine you knitting nearby and trying not to look! Don't those huge washing machines use gallons more water and doesn't that cost you a fortune? Or is it only we unfortunate Europeans who have to pay through the nose for the water that's piped in? I'm thinking that your smaller machines may have cost you more but be saving you more too? European appliances have really strict eco requirements now when it comes to the resources they use.

    I think what you call craft beers are the small brewery offerings? They have a variety on tap here at the local pub. And ditto ciders. There are some advantages to living in the UK :)

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    1. There are some places in Canada where people pay for water, but I doubt it costs as much as in the UK. Where we live there is an abundance of water. Everyone pays a flat monthly fee of just under $40. They have so much water here that they sometimes have to let water out just to relieve pressure on the system. The bigger machines do use more water, but not a lot more since they are front loaders.

      Yes, the craft beers are the ones the small breweries make. I'm not a beer fan, but I do love cider. It was on my trip to the UK in 2011 that I fell in love with the stuff! :-)

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  14. So glad you have your new machines Kristie and hope you'll all live happily ever after for many years to come. Poor Betty, such a shame as I'm sure she was quite cosy in her final resting place, or not so final now of course. Lovely this and that post which had me smiling more than once. Have a great weekend.
    Patricia x

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    1. I am really liking the machines so far, partly I'm sure because I'm just so relieved to have that whole disaster behind me! I hope you have a great weekend too! :-)

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  15. Yes, those are definitely European machines. I've never seen a washing machine with such a huge door over here, nor a fitter being held in place by his ankles. :-) I enjoyed your hodge-podge and am glad to hear that second-hand smoke doesn't cause lung cancer. But it's still terrible for those with lung disease such as asthma, as I've found out all my life. Life became so much easier when smoking in enclosed public places was banned.

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