Monday, February 29, 2016

Goodbye February

Well, I have to say I'm not sorry to see the door closing on February. It has been a hellish month. It turned out that not only did my mom break her wrist, she also had pneumonia and several other medical complications that landed her in the hospital. On Valentine's Day I made the long journey south to Spokane, and the next week was spent much the way life in the military is described, with long stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of terror.

The good news is my mom is doing much better, and is now in a care facility while she recovers her strength and gets some physical therapy on her hand and wrist. I'll go down again in a couple weeks when she gets released from the care facility to help her transition back to independent living in her apartment.

I'm happy to help my mom, but honestly, I can hardly face the thought of doing that long drive again so soon. Thank heavens for Audible books, although they do have a downside to them. I was listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the way down and was so caught up in the story I missed the exit off the Trans Canada to head south to the US. Then, on the way home, I started to listen to Career of Evil and started to feel a bit creeped out so quickly switched to another story instead. I'm such a wimp.

I have to say that for most of my stay I felt like Bill Bryson must have when he wrote I'm a Stranger Here Myself (this book is hilarious, and if you haven't read it you really should). Yes, I am an American, but sometimes I feel like I've landed on a different planet when I return to my homeland. Things like fried ice cream (yes, this was an actual flavour choice at the grocery store), election signs that say "vote for Jesus", and, dare I say it, Donald Trump, leave me shaking my head.

Hopefully my blogging will be back to more cheerful subjects next time. I think I just need to get caught up on my rest and get over this cold I managed to pick up and things will look brighter. I do have one picture to share with you. On the Saturday before I left Alexandra came down from Kamloops, and we went into Rebekah's for the day. We had such a great time together! Rebekah made a delicious salad for lunch, then we went to a chocolate shop for dessert. It was a perfect day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ups and Downs

This week has felt like a roller coaster ride. Highs and lows, brilliant moments and not so great ones, all mixed together like a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour beans. It's certainly left me feeling like I don't want to put my hand in the box to get another one.

:: I spent a wonderful weekend in Victoria visiting Lucy. She had this Nana laughing on more than one occasion. I especially loved how excited she was when I told her I was having a birthday this week. Her eyes got really big and she said, "Nana, you're going to be five!" Oh, to view the world through the eyes of a two year old. I had forgotten what mimics they are at this age, and after accidentally teaching her to say "Ew, disgusting" I was much more careful with what I said around her.

:: I finished the Goats of Inversnaid mitts before Christmas, but got delayed finishing the hat until January. Kate Davies wrote these patterns for her new yarn, Buachaille. I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn, but sadly, due to a Canadian dollar that has deflated faster than a ballon with a double pointed needle stuck into it, I probably won't be knitting with it again for a bit. The good news is, I still have the skeins from the Seven Skeins Club, so at least I can play with those until the dollar turns back around.

:: Somehow my computer got hacked, or taken over, or whatever it is that allows someone access to one's email contact list. I think I've sorted it out now, but there was a grim period of about two hours when I was getting emails and phone calls from everyone from my brother to my publisher letting me know they had received strange email messages from me. It's a rather awful feeling to be honest. It felt invasive, and creepy, and pointless. Who does this kind of thing? What could possibly be gained from sending spam emails to random people on a contact list?

:: If technology lets you down it's always nice to turn to nature. But even that seemed to have it in for me this week. A squirrel ate its way through my car's tubing for the windshield wiper fluid. It's good Lucy wasn't around or she might have learned an expression a little more colourful than "Ew, disgusting."

:: Yesterday I got an early morning call from my brother letting me know mom had fallen in the night and broken her arm. She didn't phone 911 when it happened, nor did she phone my brother. She didn't want to bother anyone in the middle of the night. She waited until the morning to ask for help. Unfortunately she is going to need surgery next week to pin it back together, so I will be heading down to Spokane once I know the date of the surgery.

:: On a more positive note, I was taking a picture of these crocus a couple days ago, and couldn't believe it when this bee zoomed into the picture! February seems quite early for the bees to be out and about.

:: I love how the lake and mountains can look completely different from one day to the next, and sometimes just from one hour to the next. Today the mountains were dressed up in stripes.

:: So there you have it. My wild roller coaster ride of a week. I'll try to get one more blog post in before I leave for Spokane. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Midweek Miscellanea

::  It felt nice to turn the calendar to February at the beginning of this week, partly because I was feeling pretty done with January, and partly because my calendar is one I made myself using pictures from my trip to Ireland last September. I have a whole year of Ireland to look forward to this way, and the thrill of turning the calendar page each month is made even better by the fact that I made the calendar so long ago I've forgotten which pictures I used, so it will be a year of surprises.

::  In knitting news I have finished another Milo, this one in a newborn size for a friend's daughter who has just had her first baby.

::  On the sewing front I laid out all squares for the quilt I'm making on the floor of the upstairs bedroom, trying to get the colour groupings right. I then started sewing squares together. Three rows in I started to feel overwhelmed, so took a break and put together this Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts. It was fast, easy and fun, and I'm sure I'll wear this top a lot once the weather warms up a bit.

::  I have been eating gluten-free for over four years. In December I decided it was time to do a trial of gluten. I introduced spelt into my diet, and I have to say it was wonderful. I enjoyed cooking with it every bit as much as I did eating it. Working with bread dough and rolling out pastry crusts again was a delight. But, alas, after a month of eating spelt it was becoming clear that we were going to have to part ways. Knowing this, I made one last pie. It wasn't just any old pie. It was a raspberry huckleberry pie. It might just be my very favourite food in the whole world. I use a recipe out of my old Joy of Cooking book, a treasure that is one of the things I would grab on my way out of my home should it ever catch on fire. Where else would I be able to find recipes for things like beaver tail, muskrat or lamb head? I suspect even Google might fail me in those culinary areas.

::  The weather here lately can be summed up in one word. Rain. There was a brief respite on Monday so I had a chance to hike up Teapot Hill. It's always fun to see if any new teapots have been left since my previous hike.

::  Remember the picture I had at the end of my last blog post? I submitted it to the BC CBC's Listeners' Lens and it was chosen as the feature photo of the day. I was pretty chuffed about it. So chuffed I took a screen shot of the website.

::  I've had another picture appear on a website recently. My brother needed a profile picture for a dating site and used one from last summer when we hiked to Lindeman Lake. This wouldn't be a big deal except for one small detail. I'm in the picture!! Yes, unbeknownst to me, I have been on the Farmersonly dating site, a place that proudly proclaims "city folks just don't get it." I only found out about this yesterday, and he has since put his account on hold, but still...

::  There's nothing sadder than a weiner dog that's missing her person. Jay has been away visiting his sister for a few days, and Jenny has spent most of that time watching out the window, waiting for him to return. Jay being away has resulted in me curtailing some of my evening consumption of British crime dramas. I'm a chicken at heart, and there's no way I could sleep at night if I had just watched something scary. He returns today, so I plan on catching up on my shows tonight. And Jenny can stop pouting.

::  Happy February!