So, um, hi. It’s been a while.

October 1, 2014

Well, this is awkward. It’s been what? Over two years since I last wrote. I guess it will come as no surprise stuff has happened. A LOT OF STUFF.

I guess the biggest news is that The Hubs and I had a baby. I know. A baby. A girl in fact. After so long.

It’s both wonderful and terrifying and sometimes even a little bit awful. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death, but there are some days when the Mister walks in the door and I hand her off even before he says hello. And I miss adult conversation. I don’t want to talk about poop and barf and diapers and cracked nipples and sleep habits all the time. I miss having discussions about politics and human rights and places we were going to go.

But all in good time. For now, most days anyway, at least those days I don’t immediately hand her off to her dad, I am savouring her little fingers and toes. And her fluffy, fuzzy baby chick hair. And how her nose scrunches when she laughs. And how her eyes widen when she sees something new. And how blowing on her face makes her laugh her baby belly laugh.

I’ve got six more months of being a stay at home mom and time flies.


I wouldn’t call them chips exactly.

March 15, 2012

So kale is the darling of food bloggers this year it seems.  You can’t read a food blog or visit some sort of food/recipe site without someone rhapsodizing about how great kale is.

Ok.  I’m good with how good kale is for  you.  It’s some kind of superfood, protecting against heart disease and diabetes and probably other stuff but I’m too lazy to finish reading the article.  

The problem, for me anyway, is that kale isn’t exactly what you’d call tasty.  Not without adding a bunch of stuff to it.  Like nuts and seeds and fruit.  Which means the Hubs will not eat it.  He’s not a picky eater he claims, yet I’ve never met a grown man who has so many rules and restrictions as to what he will and will not eat and how he’ll eat food.  Eeeesh.

But still.  Kale = goodness.  And 2012 is supposed to be the Year of Me, although that plan is getting off to a sloooooooow start.  Anyway, I figure that it can’t hurt and hey, I might actually like it.

So imagine my surprise to find a recipe for kale chips.  It’s actually from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter (which is surprisingly good).  I like chips.  A lot.  So I was pretty stoked to find a way to make my favourite unhealthy snack well, healthy.

After a failed first attempt (it would help to have the recipe book with me not upstairs in my office) I decided to try again.  I also “massaged” the kale, something I read somewhere on a food blog that explained it would make the kale tastier.  Odd but it can’t hurt.  

I oiled it up (the kale…this is a PG blog you know), salted it and baked it at 400C for 12 minutes.  The end result was, well, strangely good, but it’s not a chip.  More like a crispy leaf that’s been salted.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad tasting by any stretch, but a potato chip it is not.  And never will be.

But it is a oddly addictive snack that IS better for me than potato chips.  And a little goes a long way.  One bunch of kale makes a big container of “chips” and as much of a salty/savoury/food fan that I am, even I can’t eat that much salted baked kale.  And it’s probably a good thing given all the fibre in it.  Tomorrow might be unpleasant.

So I’ll give you this one food bloggers.  You’re right.  Kale is good.  But it’s not a chip.  

Thanks but no.

January 16, 2012

So after a disastrous job move last spring (which has resulted in this looooong period of non-working-no-money suckage) and a questionable job change the year before, I’ve decided to be very picky about where I apply to.  I’m looking for something local, or reasonably local, something that pays a decent wage (I’m amazed at how little I can live on now) and something that is fairly interesting.  Sure there are boring parts to any job and I understand that, but I would like something that makes me reasonably interested in getting out of bed in the morning and not wanting to call in sick every day.  Oh, nice co-workers would be a nice bonus too.  Not too much to ask for I don’t think.

Well, last week I applied for a job, that appeared to be in my field. It was advertised on my grad school’s job board and the job description was all about what I do.  The downside was that it was a little further than I wanted to travel BUT, a change in the Hubs’ work means that if this job worked out, we could commute part of the way together before I got on the commuter train and that would save us both time and me money.  Plus it would be  nice to start my day off with the Hubs.

A few hours after I applied I got a call from the contact.  Cool.  She spoke about the job, which turned out to be nothing like very different from the posted ad.  Well, um ok, but we both had concerns about the location of the job and apparently it was not a job that could be done from home.  Well, actually it is, but their office doesn’t work that way.  But whatever.

It still sounded kind of interesting and she told me she’d call back at the end of the month (when the job closed) for an interview.  Perfect.  Time for me to scrounge up an outfit and prepare to impress the interviewing panel.  Except that two days later she called and said they were interviewing that Saturday and could I come in?

Well, the Hubs and I had made plans to go into The Big City on Saturday to see an exhibit but due to the timing of this interview, we’d either have to go very early (yuck), go late and have hardly any time to see it (yuck) or me not go at all.  Which is what happened.

Anyway.  We went in separately, I had my interview and Hubs saw the show.  All good.  Except it wasn’t.  The interview went well.  If you consider the vague, non-committal answers to my questions going well.  If you consider the crappy salary, too long hours and cramped office space going well.  If you consider the fact that I caught the interviewer in an outright lie going well.  Oh, and that job ad.  Let’s just say that whoever wrote it isn’t living in this reality.  It’s a job ad for a job that doesn’t exist.

She told me they wanted to do one more round of interviews this week and that I “have legs”, which I take to mean they are interested in me.  While I’d like to go back to work sooner rather than later, I am not interested in them.  Remember what I said about being picky about where I apply to?  Well that goes for what job I accept.  If they make a request for a second interview I will be turning it down.  I left the frying  pan for the fire.  I’m not going from the fire into the furnace.

Updates galore!

January 11, 2012

Well, belated Happy New Year everyone!  Apparently the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, which some ding dong has taken to mean the world will also end this year, sooooo, make it count everyone!!!  Take that awesome trip!  Knit that gorgeous yarn!  Buy those fabulous shoes!!  Eat all those french fries!  Oh, wait, that’s my list of 2012 resolutions.  Heh.

But in all seriousness.  I don’t for a moment believe that the world is ending because the Mayan time cycle is done.  But I do plan to live a more interesting life.  Maybe interesting isn’t the word I’m looking for.  A more active life?  Well sort of.  I think what I’m trying to say is that I want to be more engaged this year.  To get out more, even if it’s just walks in my ‘hood.  To try new things…new recipes, new craft projects. To step, just a little, outside my comfort zone.  And of course lose all that weight I gained since I got married.  Those 55lbs are getting to be a real pain to carry around.

So what’s been happening since I last posted?  Well, the stairs are done.  And they look FANTASTIC!  I’ll take a picture if it stays sunny for more than 12 minutes.  And figure out how to post it too.  But I’m really quite pleased with myself and the way they look.  The brown isn’t as chocolate-y as I thought it would be, but you know, it’s ok.  I can live with it.  Because I am not painting them again anytime soon.

My Great Stash Knitdown of 2011 was a big success.  My goal was to use up 111 balls/skeins of yarn from my stash.  I smashed that and ended up knitting 128 balls.  GOOOOOOOOO me!  I also ended up buying 46 balls of yarn this year so technically I only knit 82 balls.  But whatever.  That’s still a lot of yarn.  And I’m not counting the stuff I gave away.  That counts for at least 10 balls.  I think.

This year my goal is to knit 150 balls.  And buy under 20 balls.  My stretch goal is 175 but we’ll see.  So far I’m only at one ball but I’ve got a few things on the go.  I might not make either goal but I will be whittling down my stash and that’s a good thing.

I also plan to knit for me this year.  And for those who appreciate it.  LIKE MY FAMILY.  ahem.  This Christmas I gave the outlaws and my family food gifts.  I spent a week in the kitchen canning and baking.  The outlaws were not so impressed.  My family was pretty happy.  The end result?  I’d rather bake four loaves of bread in my bread maker and can marmalade than kill myself trying to knit for people who won’t wear what I  make.  Christmas 2012 is gonna be all about homemade but it’s gonna be fast homemade.  And if you don’t like it, re-gift.  Everyone likes baked goods and homemade jam.

On the job front, things are maybekindasorta looking up.  Cross your fingers for me.  Being home is awesome but having a regular pay cheque is also awesome.  I’ll keep you posted.

On the inlaw front, they seem more subdued.  Not sure why but I’m not questioning it. Of course, this could be the calm before the storm.  I figure I’ll enjoy it while I can because when the sh!t hits the fan, well, it gets ugly.

Overall I’m pretty stoked about 2012.  I really think it’s going to be a good one.  And I’m going to do my best to make it a good one.  And maybe that’s half the battle.

In this instance fantasy is much better than reality

October 18, 2011

So I’ve mentioned before that the Hubs and I live live in a 2.5 storey house.  Which is now 75 years old.  So it needs some work.  Ok, it needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic.  But house work is house work.

Our bedroom is in the attic.  So it’s nice and big.  The attic was “finished” in the early 90s, either by the people we bought the house from or the people before them.  I’m not sure.  I suspect it was the previous owners though because of the stairs.

See, the previous owners had “interesting” decorating ideas.  We’ve painted over most of them, although the chicken wire wall in our kitchen won’t be replaced until we renovate.  The front porch had a god-awful ugly sunburst in purple, navy and yellow.  One bedroom was eggplant, navy, British racing green and burgundy.  So you see what we had to contend with.

The attic stair case though was appalling.  It was glossy kelly green with hundreds of silver frogs stenciled on.  The Hubs HATED it.  Which is kind of interesting since he doesn’t usually hate much of anything.  But he hated these stairs.

Last summer we bought brown paint to repaint them.  A nice milk chocolate that’s not too dark.  It’s the same colour as our porch, although this sample looks grey and it’s not grey.  But anyway.  We had plans to paint the stairs in the summer.  Which didn’t happen for various reasons mostly to do with the fact that I loathe painting and the Hubs “wasn’t in the mood”.

But the biggest reason they didn’t get done, stairs are a pain in the ass to paint.  Especially if you have to use oil paint.  Which we did.  As a primer.

Now, years ago I saw a staircase I fell in love with in a decorating magazine.  It kind of looked like this one.  I love the way the step colour contrasts so starkly with the riser.  And I knew that if I ever had to repaint/replace a staircase this is how I’d do it.

I lobbied hard for the main floor staircase but the Hubs wasn’t having any of it.  He has no art in his soul.  And besides, we agreed we wanted a runner so the two-toned stairs would be pretty much lost anyway.

But the attic.  Oh yes the attic was perfect for this.  It’s a very narrow, two flight staircase with a small narrow landing.  The bedroom is white and will pretty much always have to be white given that the windows are so small and there is no decent light in the fall/winter.  I figured that a white riser would lighten the heavy brown and since we don’t wear shoes in the house anyway, it would be easy to keep clean.  Well, ok, easy-ish.

So the Hubs agreed, even though he’s grumbled that it will “look retarded”.  And on Sunday he broke out the palm sander to scrap off the “texture” on the side of the stairs (no idea what that is called –  the moulding?) and after the green dust was cleaned up, he primed the entire thing.  It looked great white.  Really really great.  But white, even though I love love love it, is a “retarded” choice for a floor.  Even one that doesn’t get walked on in shoes.

So then I stepped in.  Since I want the stairs to be two colours, I agreed to paint them.  Holy Mother of God I must have been drinking when I agreed to this.  This is going to be a 47 step process.  I just finished painting the side mouldings.  I still have a second coat to go.  Then, on Thursday, I’ll paint the actual steps and the landing (twice) and likely on Sunday I’ll paint the risers white.  Twice.  Maybe three times depending on how they look.  And of course, during all of this I’ll have to plan ahead and shower/change clothes on the second floor because I am working from the top down and even though it’s latex paint it still takes a few hours to dry.  And I’ll have to keep the cat away.  She’s a big believer in Feline Supervision and I’m a big believer in not having small brown paw prints all over my hardwood.  And let’s NOT talk about how much painter’s tape I am using and how small I have to rip the strips and how picky it is to tape off risers.

So.  It will look amazing when it’s done.  But I think maybe, I should have let the fantasy remain a fantasy and just have painted the whole shebang one colour.  It would have taken two days, next to no taping and I could spend all my extra time knitting.



October 7, 2011

It is no secret that I do not care for my in-laws.  I have not-so-affectionately nicknamed them the “outlaws” and I frequently wish they’d drop off the face of the earth.  She has a special talent for annoying the snot out of me with her passive-aggressive behaviour and him, well, he’s just a jerk.

And it’s also no secret that holidays are angst-filled for us.  And likely for most couples.  Where to eat the holiday meal and who to eat it with causes all sorts of anguish.  Christmas and Easter never fail to elicit huge battles that last for days.  But not Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving has never been a problem for us.  For one simple reason.

It’s our anniversary and we made it very clear to both families that we’d celebrate it how we wanted to.  Which meant, with each other and far away from both sets of parents.  My parents have been ok with this.  His parents, well, his mother at least, connives every year to get us to have Thanksgiving dinner with them.  And every year we’ve managed to avoid it.

This year is different.  We had planned to go to New York City for an extra-long weekend.  But, with me being laid off, New York being expensive and money not as free-flowing as it could be, we decided to give the Big Apple a miss.

So, we thought we’d head up to the cottage for a weekend of romantic bedroom painting.  Which is not a euphemism.  We were planning on painting two of the bedrooms up there.  But the couple who is currently renting the place, decided to stay up there instead of going home to their families.  Which means they probably don’t like their in-laws much either.

For the first time in five years we had a conundrum.  Each family celebrates on Sunday.  We knew from our first Christmas as a couple that two turkey dinners in one day was not going to happen.  Where would we eat turkey?  And who would we eat it with?

Because the Hubs had invited his parents up to the cottage last month and I had the distinct displeasure of spending three days with them in a small house (that’s a wank for another post) and I’m still harbouring violent tendencies from that time, I decided that for everyone’s safety (and my sanity), we’d each spend Thanksgiving with our own family.  I was fine with it.  The Hubs was fine with it.  My family was fine with it.  I figured his would be too.

I knew it would just be me and my mom since my sister and her family will be celebrating Thanksgiving with her on Saturday.  But the Hubs doesn’t know this.  He thinks, and I’m not dissuading him of the notion, that my entire family will be at my parents’ house on Sunday.  He does know that my dad will be at work though.  His entire family will be at his uncle’s house and while I really enjoy his aunt and uncle’s company, I’m still having some trouble suppressing the urge to kick my FIL in the head.  Which is why he’s going alone.

Or he was until yesterday.  Last night the Hubs went to his parents’ for dinner.  He mentioned the holiday plans to his parents and his mom told him that married couples should be together on the holidays so he’d have to go with me to my family’s dinner.  WHAT?!  The dinner which my mom was making special for me?  (Her breaded chicken breasts that I love more than any other food in the world.)  The dinner that was just going to be me and my mom?  The dinner where I didn’t have to cook or clean up or watch what I said?  The dinner where I was planning on gossiping and complaining about the outlaws?  The dinner where I was going to laze around afterwards and knit to my heart’s content?  Yes that very dinner.  And afterwards he wants to go to see his family for coffee so I still have to see the outlaws.  CRAP!

So now we’re in damage control mode.  We’ve concocted stories as to why my sister and her family won’t be there.  We’ve changed the menu.  We’ve basically made it no fun.  I keep telling the Hubs he’s more than welcome to go on to his family’s dinner.  That no one in my family will hold it against him for not showing up.  But he’s not listening to me.

Way to go MIL.  You’ve managed to poop a party you weren’t even invited to.  And once again you’ve guaranteed that I continue to be not thankful for having you in my life.



September 13, 2011

I like white.  A lot.  I think it’s clean and crisp and looks sophisticated.  It’s easy to match too.  I have several sets of white sheets and towels.  And duvet covers.    I’d even have white furniture if I could get away with it.

It’s not a particularly sensible colour to decorate with.  And yes, I know technically it’s a “shade” not a “colour”, but whatever.  And it’s definitely not practical as I have a black cat and a dirty husband.  But that’s what the “whitest whites” setting and Borax is for.

Lately though, I’m beginning to crave colour.  I’ve introduced hot pink and orange and lemon yellow hand towels into our ensuite.  Which is, black and, you guessed it, white.  In my defense it was decorated that way when we moved in and The Hubs and I weren’t prepared to rip down a roomful of tiles, physically or financially.

About a month ago, I bought blue sheets.  With pink roses on them.  There’s barely any white at all in them.  And I like it that way.

The Summer of My Discontent

September 6, 2011

So, back in April I got a new job.  It was doing the same thing I did at the College, but with better pay and much closer to home.  The interview process was annoying, my boss seemed to be a bit on the dramatic side but you know, more money and closer to home.  Even though I knew something was wrong with the place, I couldn’t see anything obvious so I accepted.

The first month and a half was great.  My boss, while on the dramatic side, loved my work, told me I was awesome and things seemed to be going well.  I got along with my co-workers and actually liked some of them.  Plus, I was significantly closer to home and making more money.  Did I mention that part?

In early July though, things started to go south very quickly.  My boss gave me a hard time about vacation, even though I had days to use up.  She didn’t understand how the fundraising database worked and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t pull information out of it.  Here’s a hint, if it was never put in, NO ONE can pull the information out.  Just saying.

The HR head honcho decided to cut summer hours and decided that jeans couldn’t be worn to work.  I was working at a high school and despite the facts that a) I never saw donors and b) the kids weren’t there so I didn’t see parents either I didn’t see the point of no jeans.  But whatever.  You have to pick your battles.

So.  The staff that worked through the summer was in revolt due to having to work a full week (First World problems I know) and morale was in the toilet.  The rest of my group (me and my boss were our own “team” in the group) decided to take turns working a full Friday, thus ensuring one person was in the office while the rest of them went home early.  My boss refused to let me do this.  She got to leave early…on “visits” or she “worked” from home.  Sometimes she took Fridays off.  Let me tell you, when no one is in the office after 1pm on a Friday and you don’t have much work to do, those afternoons can really drag out.

So, as my workload lessened and lessened and as my boss stopped speaking to me outside of our weekly meeting, I saw that the writing was on the wall.  She needed a direct report to bump up her salary but it was pretty clear that we were not getting along.  I’m not sure if she’d ever managed staff before but if she had, you sure couldn’t tell.

And there were other things about the place I didn’t like.  There was a huge double standard between the teachers and the staff.  Internet usage was watched.  Which was doubly annoying for me because internet research is a big part of my job so my web history was all over the place.  And the staff was just really unhappy.

It came as no surprise when I was called into HR three months after being hired and was told my services were no longer required.  In fact, it was a welcome relief.  While working there, I was angry every night when I came home.  I’d started having trouble sleeping at night and Sunday evenings put the fear of God in my heart.  I did not want to work there anymore.

So when the choice to not work there was made for me, I was happy.  Sure it sucks having no money but EI will cover the basics.  For a while anyway.  And there are enough jobs out there to keep me busy applying for a while.  Also, it’s really nice not to have to go to work every day.  Really nice.

I’ve finally cleaned and organized my office/yarn room.  Which only took three years.  I’ve baked and cooked and am slowly catching up on my sleep debt.  I’ve also read 16 books this summer.  And finished a bunch of knitting projects.  My house is clean on a regular basis and I’m (mostly) keeping up with laundry.

Sure I’m kind of bored some days but I’m spending a lot of time with the cat (she loves having me home) and getting some time for me.  Eventually I’ll work again, but for now, for now I’m just going to enjoy myself and see what happens.  The next job will come along soon enough.

Q1 progress

April 1, 2011

Ok, one quarter down, a short break in the yarn fast and a quick progress update.

From January 1 to March 31, 2011 I have knit 33 FULL BALLS OF YARN.  ahem.  Yep, 33 balls of yarn.  That’s 3660 metres and 29.72% of my goal.  I am AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.  Which is surprising and makes me happy.  It’s also a good thing to be slightly ahead when the inevitable “knitting injury” happens or I just don’t feel like knitting during the dog days of July and August.

I had a little fall off the “woolly wagon” in early March when I bought six balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease and a ball of LB Homespun.  But the Homespun was to finish a project that ended up not fitting me but looks AMAZING on my massage therapist.  So it wasn’t a total waste.

I’ve started 19 projects and have finished 16 of them.  Granted most are small things like mittens but they are eating up yarn like crazy and I’m making a scrappy blanket out of the remainders.  Which is also eating up yarn.  When it’s all over I might even add a page here outlining what I’ve made and how much yarn it used up.  Maybe.  If I’m not too lazy.

April is also my month to take a break from stash knitting.  It is my birthday month, but it’s more likely any birthday money I get will go to fill up my gas tank than towards yarn.  But I am going to the States in 13 days and I know I’ll buy some of that big-box-yarn-we-don’t-have-here-in-Soviet-Canukistan JUST BECAUSE I CAN.  Also because my parents will be driving my suitcase and anything bulky I buy back home.  So the incentive to keep my purchases to Air Canada luggage weight allotments has literally flown right out the window.  And, as if US big box stores and Florida LYS’ weren’t temptation enough, Webs is having their annual two month anniversary sale.  BUT, I can only buy yarn in April.  So there are some small mercies.

Overall though, I have to say that it’s kind of fun to knit from the stash.  Yes, thank you I am feeling ok.  No, I’m not suffering from a fever.  It’s very liberating to go through ALL THE STASH (and believe me there is a lot of it) and remember what I bought and figure out what I’m going to do with it.  I try to do this at least once a month.  My queue changes constantly and I don’t have nearly enough acrylic or mostly acrylic for the scrappy blanket I’m making I have noticed. 

It’s also liberating to give yarn away.  I’ve donated a few skeins to my knitting friends and I have one skein that is awaiting postage to a far away friend.  As the year goes on I’ll likely donate some to the onsite day care or people who will love it more than I do. 

Three months down and I’m still excited about this project.  Maybe I’ll do it again next year.

Ah, it all makes sense now

March 16, 2011

So this past weekend’s outlaw drama (f’ing link won’t insert….scroll down if you want to read about it) was sort of resolved on Monday night in a rather surprising turn of events.

My MIL, who annoys the snot out of me most of the time, was not to blame for most recent bout of outlaw asshattery.  Whaaaaaaat?!  I know.  While the MIL is responsible for about 93% of the drama in my life, I can’t pin this one on her.  This time it was the FIL.  Yep, the FIL.

Turns out, unbeknownst to me of course, that I’m in the wrong.  I don’t show him the proper “respect” that a daughter-in-law (or Mafia capo apparently) should.  I don’t enter their house with gandiose “heeeeellloooooos” (think that Seinfeld episode with the Big Ball of Oil…ya, you know the one).  Instead of taking my coat and shoes off upon immediately entering their house, I should instead be rushing (with dirty outside shoes) into the living room and genuflecting in his presence.

Well, ok, the genuflecting probably is going too far (only a bit though) but I should be IMMEDIATELY offering my greetings.  I should also ask about his day, what his plans are for the remainder of the week and I DEFINITELY have to sit, in rapt attention, while he pontificates about things I could care less about or tells my husband he’s an idiot for not agreeing with him. And I should not expect the FIL to ever ask about me, my day, my job, my friends or my family.  None of those things matter now that I have married into his family.  Oh, also I’m forgetting that it’s also my fault that we have no children.  Also, as a woman, I am automatically a lesser being and forget the fact that I have three degrees and eight years of post-secondary education, I am an idiot, I am always wrong and I never know what I’m talking about.  That last bit wasn’t exactly stated this time round, but it’s pretty obvious how my FIL thinks.

You know, as my dad says, you can’t fix stupid.  Arguing with it doesn’t work either.

Can we go back to the MIL being the dramatic one?  That was much easier to deal with.