We’re back from an amazing trip to Norway (well, at least, I am — Chris unfortunately had to ship off to San Francisco immediately upon our return for a work conference). Lots of stories and photos to come! For now I’m trying to beat the jet lag and get back into the rhythm of work/life again. This is challenged by the extraordinary heat and humidity here that I’ve lost my acclimatization to. In Norway after all, our average daily temperature was around 18 degrees! I was wearing jeans most of the time for goodness sake. Needless to say it’s taking some time to readjust.
Midnight sun (sort of) in Tromsø, Norway
I was able to spend a couple hours wrestling back control of my garden on Sunday afternoon, and giving everything a desperately needed soaking, but there is still much work to be done. Why is it that while the grass dies and my flowers shrivel, the weeds thrive?
Well I’m officially on three weeks vacation and after a couple days at the cottage and this afternoon and evening at the farm, I just might be starting to relax. I couldn’t sit still at the cottage,thinking about all I need to do before we get on a plane on Wednesday but now that the pets have been delivered to the farm, I just might be finding some peace of mind.
Tomorrow morning it’s back to the city to do some last minute shopping, gardening and finally, packing. But right now I’m enjoying listening to the horses munch grass in the pasture and the bullfrogs staking out their turf in the creek.
So far I’m on pretty good track with my Christmas knitting. I think Chris’s Socks with Pints On will be late but he’s cool with that. I haven’t started those yet, but soon. I’m currently working on a beret and possibly a matching scarf for my Grama, and I just finished two stockings for April and my new baby niece Vaughn, to match the ones I made for my brother and my nephew Magnus, a couple years go.
Family of Stockings
If there was something I’d change it would only be that I couldn’t find the pink and tan colours in the original yarn I’d used that suited, so I had to use a different yarn and it is quite different in texture. I don’t think that matters much to April but I’m picky that way!
Mom and daughter stockings
Stocking for Vaughn
Stocking for April
That sums it up though, for my holiday knitting. I’d like to do more but I’m not going to make myself crazy over it. I’ve basically been finished Christmas shopping for weeks aside from one or two small things. I ordered almost everything online, and spared Chris (and myself) the pain of roaming any malls. I’m happy to pay for shipping if it means I don’t have to run around among the crazy people and fight for parking, etc.
As for decorations, I picked up some urns for the porch a couple weeks ago and I plan to get some greenery for them shortly from the farm. The urns were not cheap, so I held off on buying any pre-done holiday-themed inserts. We have a few lights I want to put up but since we don’t have the porch railings or posts anymore the way we do them will change a bit. Usually I wrap lights around the railings and while it looks really nice, it’s always a big pain in the bum. I haven’t yet convinced Chris that we should put them along the roof line. I suggested that the other day and he looked at me like I’d just landed from Mars.
In general I’m looking forward to the holidays — I’m looking forward to doing some baking, and I really need a break from work; the crazy there will go on for at least another week and a half before things will settle down. We’ve decided to spend NYE in Boston, which should be fun, although I’ve never been there before. Anyone have suggestions of must-see places?
I don’t know what is up with me. I think I’m pretty chilled out — I’ve been enjoying a nice week off (aside from the two meetings I had to go to at work on Tuesday and Wednesday, which were for a very good reason). But I’ve also been incredibly lazy and unmotivated, which is pretty unusual for me. Chris keeps reminding me that’s not a bad thing (and he’s right), that I should be able to be lazy and not beat myself up over not making good use of time. I have after all been burning the candle at both ends at work for far too long. But for some reason I’ve been a total failure in the kitchen this week. Last night I tried to make coconut rice to go with some Thai chicken and a Savoy cabbage slaw, and the rice was sickly sweet (like eating rice pudding with chicken — ick!), while the cabbage was tough and coarse. Tonight I tried to use a frozen pizza dough to make calzones, something I’ve been doing for a while with extra pizza dough made in my bread machine, and it didn’t rise at all — essentially becoming pizza fillings surrounded by uncooked bread dough. We ended up going out to get a meal. What is up? Did I do something to offend the gods of home cooking?
Playing around with the new camera
Hopefully things start to look up soon. I do however have a new toy at my disposal. We got a new camera on the weekend; a Canon 7D. We’ve been shopping for a new camera for the last year or so, and when the 7D came out it seemed to have everything we were looking for. I haven’t used a Canon DSLR before so it is entirely uncharted territory for me. And I take quite a while to get comfortable with a camera. Reading user manuals hurts my brain. I’ve found some nifty training videos online that I can watch on my iPhone so that ought to help with the learning curve. To deal with the extraordinarily large photos and HD video I’m also going to need to revisit how I’m organizing my photos on my (nearly full) computer, and wait for some updates to Aperture (the 7D’s RAW files are not supported yet). That’s a little frustrating but I’ll get over it. Anyway, I look forward to lots of excellent photography in the months (and probably years) to come. Especially with the 50mm f/1.8 lens!
Tomorrow I head off to New Hamburg to hang with my buddy Leanne, and go shopping in St. Jacobs. Then off to the farm for a long overdue visit with my family.
Hello Interweb, I’m still here! I’ve just been kinda busy. Work is all consuming these days, but, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Squishy Sharp Centre
Yesterday I put in about 17 hours at the office, starting at 5:30 in the morning and going until about 10:30 at night, all in the name of OCAD. But it was for a good cause — last night was the big Whodunit? Mystery Art Sale Gala Preview, and my knitted Sharp Centre for Design had been chosen to be included in the Gala’s silent auction! I got the idea for this after doing a 3D knitted letter “I” for a the poster my colleague Matt Webb designed for the new OCAD Viewbook (below). I was racking my brain what to knit for the Whodunit sale and this is what I came up with. It turned out pretty good, if not a little wobbly on it’s pipe-cleaner supported legs. No matter how I feel about it, it was definitely a hit. OCAD’s VP Finance & Administration Peter Caldwell won the bid on it and didn’t even know I had made it until he picked it up (that’s the “mystery” behind the sale). Needless to say he is very pleased and I think I scored some brownie points (he is my boss after all).
My knitted letter "I"
Let Your Imagination Unfold at OCAD
I’ve also been doing some other knitting, some more cupcakes. My mom is using them at the gift shop she works at for display. They’re also very popular there too. I’ve done a few Christmas-coloured ones as well.
I am SO looking forward to next week, because I have most of it off! Yay!! I’ve been calling it my “mental health holiday” because I have been burning the candle at both ends for so long now that I’m about to fall over dead. I had thought I could wait until Christmas for time off but I realized about a week and a half ago that there was just no way, no how, was I going to make it without a break.
I don’t really have anything overly exciting planned, although I happen to think being able to sleep in, bum around the house, catch up on some fall house keeping and knit to my heart’s content pretty darn exciting. I may also do a little Christmas shopping (I have very little to do actually) and I plan to go to the farm at some point and visit friends and family out that way. This break should make coasting until Christmas pretty manageable. Only one more sleep until vacation!
Just about to check out of the Fairmont Algonquin, a beautiful historic hotel in St. Andrews by-the-sea, New Brunswick. In all the crazy to prepare to leave for two weeks holidays, I didn’t get a chance to update my blog with anything exciting. This might be the last reliable Internet connection we have for a while, so I thought I’d check in, but I’ll be tweeting whenever I think of it and you can follow me there at www.twitter.com/digginthedirt.
To get here, we crossed the US border at Kingston and then drove across New York through the Adirondacks, then Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. We were making terrific time, even by some less-oft traveled routes, but then we ran into a major hiccup on Hwy 2 crossing New Hampshire. There was some kind of hazardous spill and they turned us back, forcing us to take a four hour detour that set us back something awful. The last 6 or 7 hours of driving were long and hard, and boring, since we decided to take the Interstate to try to make up for lost time. Stupid mountains making detours impossible! Ha!
All the same, here we are, and it is gorgeous! It’s hot, it’s humid, but it’s finally summery, and now we get to enjoy the sights of the east as we make our way to Fundy National Park for a couple nights.
Oh by the way, happy first birthday to my blog!