Friday, August 28, 2009


So, I made it over to the drugstore, farmer's market, and back. (I still feel like crap, but not bad enough to pester my dad into running errands for me. I did get the farmer's market people to pick out my veggies, though, so that I wouldn't share my germs. Of course, they still had to touch my money.)

Shopping trip:
• bottle of 50 decongestants: $13.43 (Already taken one.)
• handful of swiss chard: $1.85 (Pricey, but variety in the diet is a good thing.)
• package of six chocolate chip cookies: $2 (Very pricey, but I was weak, and they look good. Will try one after I write this post. Sign that I'm sick? I haven't dug into the package yet!)
• big bag of green beans: $1 (Definitely the best deal, but way more than I can eat. Hopefully my parents will help me.)

Ugh... maybe I'll have a nap before I try a cookie. Tired...

Ups and Downs

Up: I upgraded my RAM from 512 MB to 2 GB. It's *sweet*. No more beach ball of boredom while my computer swaps files.

Down: I'm congested. For the past few days I've had a sinus headache... headache plus congestion. Then came the nasal drip. I figured it's just ragweed season, or something. (Googling... ragweed forecast is at the high end of the low range, but the "Cladosporium" forecast is high.) However, tonight I have more symptoms that are pushing me to think cold/flu: I'm achey all over, and my lymph nodes in my neck are tender. (Doctors always feel there and ask if it hurts, so I figure that means something.) Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get "swine flu" taken care of and out of the way before all the germy students start coming to my office this fall. I don't know... is it better to be sick on vacation, when you don't have to debate whether you're well enough to show up for work... or is it better to be sick during work, so that you get sick pay, and it doesn't interfere with vacation? ;)

Double down: Tonight I took my last decongestant. If I'm feeling crummy enough tomorrow, perhaps I'll sweet-talk my dad into fetching some for me. Otherwise I'll walk over the bridge to the pharmacy and the Friday farmer's market, and get some veggies to go with the decongestants. Mmmm... swiss chard fried up with some garlic... garlic is good for colds, right? ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My grandma D died this morning. She had Alzheimer's, and has been "gone" for years... so it's a mercy. But it's still sad. I'm glad that my third grandma is still doing reasonably well. (Grandma M died a number of years ago now.)

I felt kind of like moping around home all day, but made myself go out and enjoy some sunshine (finally some decent weather) and then go play with clay. My first piece had it's first firing, so I painted glaze on it, and then made three sets of buttons. I didn't feel like doing anything involving more effort.

I'll be teaching a class this fall. It's not the one I was hoping to teach (intro to programming), but similar to one that I didn't really do well at the first time (known to the local students as "computer useless"). I'm hoping to learn how to teach this course effectively. Plus I'll earn enough to replace my laptop, and I won't be leaving the department scrambling to find a replacement for the person they had intended to do the job. (The grad student initially offered the job decided not to take the position.) Of course, it's possible they just made the offer because they knew I could use the money.

Another benefit of taking the job is that I will have sufficient hours this year to guarantee my benefits for another year. (Assuming continuing employment in my other position, of course.)

Of course, now that I know that I can replace my laptop... do I wait until I've actually earned the money, or do I take advantage of the iPod deal going on now, use my savings, and replace the money as it comes in? I *am* going to get more RAM now, to make my current laptop more functional. (When I have two, I'll leave my old one at the office, and my new one at home, reducing stress on each, and making my backpack lighter.) I suppose I could consider a desktop for home. I suspect I'll put off the new computer purchase just so that I can decide *what* I want. (Plus, that'll let me test how much better my current laptop performs once it has more RAM.)

I had to prune several more branches off the maple in front of mom's... the stupid kids from the townhouse keep treating it like a jungle gym, and the branches and bark are just too soft for that kind of treatment.

It's nice that there's been some lovely days lately. Of course, we keep getting drenching downpours separating them, so that I can't dig more of the garden yet.

Mrs C planted more plants in front. I think she thinks this is a competition. If I liked her better, I'd actually talk to her and explain things... and ask if she'd like some space left for her to plant. I'll just garden around what she plants, and move them later in the fall when I put everything in their final spots. (I think she planted one of the flowers that is basically an invasive weed, though, and I haven't decided what to do about that.)

When I went outside today, I sat in the sun for a bit and read the library books that are due Thursday. The sun was quite hot, and since I wasn't interested in burning, I moved over to the shade fairly quickly. I was going to continue reading in the shade, but the caretaker came over, and we chatted for a while. Hopefully I'll get them read tomorrow. They're still "new and noted", and, as such, I suspect that there's more people on the waiting list. (I had to wait for a while myself... and if there's someone waiting, you can't renew.)

Well, it's getting late. I think I'll post this, check the renewals, then read a bit before bed. Good night!

Friday, August 21, 2009



I think my iPod and I may have reached a truce that will take us perhaps until Christmas (or beyond?)...

When I plug the iPod in, it loads replacement podcasts until it encounters a disk error (at a little under half full). I don't press the issue, and it doesn't flip out.

Hypothesis: an iPod mini *may* be in Christmas or Christmas+birthday present range for one of my parents. Alternately, I'm going to be paid for running a silk painting workshop, I'll be earning more tutoring money next term... and who knows? Maybe I'll sell a painting at the fall art show? In the fall, I'll feel more comfortable about spending money on a new iPod than I do at the moment.

In a nice discovery, I found out that university staff *do* qualify for an education discount, contrary to what the Apple promotion guy told me. (The apple site mentioned staff, and I asked at Computers on Campus too.) Not that there's an education discount on iPods, but there are on new laptops. (Although I *could* buy a laptop and get a rebate for a free iPod touch right now, I think I'd prefer an iPod mini, and waiting a bit longer before spending the money on a laptop.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thrift Store Plates

Thrift Store Plates

Pretty plates I bought at the thrift store the other week. The top one has stamps on the back, the bottom one doesn't. The bottom one looks hand painted at first glance, but careful examination shows that each flower is identical. It's good enough quality that you can't see the dots from the transfer, though. There's no stamps on the back, to help me figure out whether it might be "worth" anything. I paid $1 for the top plate, and 25 cents for the bottom.

Team Spirit

Team Spirit

My free t-shirt from Cheerios came the other day. Nothing says "Canadian team spirit" like "Made in Bangladesh". (I guess I can't complain if it's free.)

It's a nice shirt, though, and fits well (as long as I tuck the tight-ass part in).

Note to self: find time to start exercising regularly.

Annoying Bus Guy

Annoying Bus Guy

I find this guy really annoying. He spends his whole bus ride waving those drumsticks around like he's playing drums... and he sits right at the front of the bus, so *everyone* has to walk past him. I've never seen him actually hit anyone, but I'm paranoid that it'll happen. Plus the movement in the corner of my eye is really annoying.

Happy Thoughts

Day Lily

Happy thoughts... think happy thoughts!

The day lilies I planted have started blooming. :)

As I Feared


Problem hard drive. :(

Possible solutions:
• refurbished 8GB iPod nano, $115 CDN at Apple Store
• new 8GB iPod nano, $169 CDN at Apple Store
• free iPod touch with laptop purchase if I finagle a student to help me buy it (I could really use a laptop upgrade too, but it's not in the budget right now... more RAM? Maybe.)
• other suggestions???

Wednesday, August 19, 2009



I think my iPod is dying. Well, I know my iPod is dying, the question is how much more life can I squeak out of it?

Starting perhaps a couple of months ago, sometimes the start of a podcast would get garbled (first 5-10 seconds or so), but the rest would be fine. Last night, after pulling myself away from a sudoku way too late at night... I discovered that, although my iPod appeared fine, all of the music and podcasts had disappeared. When I plugged it back in, my computer didn't recognize it, and iTunes asked me to run the "restore to factory settings". So I did. Then I let it resynch, eventually going to bed without it lulling me to sleep.

This morning I had to repeat the process, but I got to listen to a podcast on the way to and from my doctor appointment. (No death panels, and my rash is probably allergy/hives/eczema... although it was hard to tell, because it decided to mostly clear up for the appointment, and my doc told me I could call my mystery joint aches "arthritis". Yay for that last one! I hate having something with no name. It's not severe arthritis, but it's still probably arthritis. I guess I'll take my mystery rash to the allergist... assuming it comes back.)

Tonight... dead iPod again. It's currently resynching... and I'm googling to find out if there's something I can do.


This is my second dead iPod... it's the one that the wonderful Jess sent me after my first one died. Thank you Jess!!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Death Squads and Froot Loops

Sadly, Saturday night "I'm going to bed now" usually means dealing with a pile of clean laundry and bedding heaped on my bed, especially if I was feeling crappy when I brought the stuff upstairs. While I'm folding, I listen to podcasts. Tonight I was listening to CBC's As It Happens. Did you know that Froot Loops can recover? Here's an interesting interview (mp3 link) with a former religious right operative, comparing tactics then (against abortion) and now (against Obama).

I have an appointment with my doctor on Wednesday. Should I encounter any "death squads", I'll be sure to let you know. ;) (Assuming I survive, of course. Should I not survive, you'll know by the never ending blog silence.)


I've been feeling like crap all day. At first I thought perhaps the feta *had* gone off, even though it looked and tasted fine... but it turns out my folks have the same bug. (Given that theirs started a bit after me... I might have given it to them. If so, sorry!)

In other news, I heard the new girls next door talking about the wasp nest... that would be the one that the cable guy discovered when he tried to install my cable. So I went over to my folks, borrowed some wasp spray, and we killed those suckers. (You should have seen the cable guy freaking out! I kept having to tell him not to swat at them, because they'd get angry and sting him if he did.)

However, the new girls and *their* cable guy were not so resourceful... and so they do not yet have phone service. (They moved in over a week ago! Why is it that I'm the only one able to get things done?!) I let them know that the nest has been taken care of. They were quite happy to hear about that.

Sounds like I should probably let the landlord know the wasps have been taken care of... I assume they contacted him.

Well, after that e-mail, I'm off to bed. Hopefully I'll feel better in the morning!

Friday, August 14, 2009


The last two nights we've had spectacular lightening shows. Last night even came with baseball sized hail in parts of the city. Tonight we're forecast for more of the same. (Lightening and rain, that is... hopefully no more hail! Although the person whose shed burned to the ground would probably prefer no more lightening too.)

I've got a weird, twitchy-congested feeling tonight. I just took some Tylenol, thinking I'm getting a headache... but I think I'll go add a decongestant as well.

Today I went grocery shopping. I only had a partial grocery shopping list (I hadn't planned on going grocery shopping when I visited my folks, but the offer of a car was there, and it was before the after-work crowd would be out), and no deadline, so I wandered the store, looking for other options of what to eat. I've been eating too much of the same stuff, and need to introduce some variety. Since I have a habit of coming up with great "recipes", cooking them for a while, and then forgetting them, I'm going to try to document my successes here... that way, when I need inspiration again, I can use my "recipe" tag.

Tonight's "recipe" is pretty simple. It combines "fresh" pasta ravioli, with a "sauce" technique taught to me by a former boyfriend. Plus some feta that's been in the fridge way too long, but apparently the brine has preserved it.

---------------------------------- start recipe ----------------------------------

Spinach Ravioli with Garlic and Feta
one 350 g package of Olivieri Spinach and Cheese Ravioli
a generous pour of olive oil
half a *head* of garlic
a scoop of cubed feta

Cook the ravioli according to the directions on the package. Chop the garlic into tiny pieces. (If your garlic has been in the fridge too long, as mine has, remove the sprouted centres... I've heard these can be bitter.) In a small pot, pour in a small pool of olive oil, and add the garlic. Turn the garlic on low. Gradually increase the temperature on the garlic until it starts to get that lovely, nutty smell. At this point, the ravioli should be done. Drain the ravioli, then add the garlic to it. (Add a bit of ravioli to the garlic pan and swirl around to make sure you get all the garlic and oil.) Add the cubed feta. Toss and serve.

---------------------------------- end recipe ----------------------------------

Mmmmm! And I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!! (Unless, of course, it succumbs to a midnight snack...)

In other news, I have *cable* tv! (Did I tell you that already? I let them hook me up when they offered me two months free, plus six months at about $30... after that, I'll either go down a level, or cancel and go back to my antenna. I can cancel whenever I want at no charge.) I can watch in *focus* now! And in *colour*! (I sometimes had trouble getting rid of enough snow to get colour on one of my channels.) I must admit, though... it seems rather freaky, getting so many channels on my TV. It's like I'm at my mom's *and* at home at the same time! ;)

Thursday night I watched two shows on the History Channel. :) Late last night I discovered, however, that I couldn't tape a different channel than what I was watching! Disaster! Friday nights have two shows on at the same time that I like to watch! However, this afternoon I got everything re-hooked up with a little help from tech support. Ahhhh! (Heh... he said that the downside was that I could only tape non-digital channels this way... given that I can tape *way* more than I could off the antenna, I'm not complaining!)

I have the windows open. Leaving the AC on for several days in a row, it gets *really* dry in here. It's cooled off enough outside that it's not too bad with the windows open. (It's rather too humid, but I'm okay with that for now.) If I close the windows, it'll get stuffy in here. It's not hot enough to justify using the AC. What time do you suspect I'll have to get up tonight to close the windows for the rain? Blech. I think I'll try closing them most of the way, and hopefully it won't get too stuffy that way.

I currently have three or four settings on my windows: stick (maximally open), pen (medium opening), wine cork (minimally open), and closed.

I have a great idea for window settings, and have half of what I need (dowels)... but I'm having trouble finding the rest (pieces of wood). Perhaps I'll have to get dad to rip some lumber for me. My idea is to take a piece of wood (about 1" x 1.?" x height), and drill holes along the length, into which I'll insert a 6" piece of dowel at the height I want the window open. That piece of dowel will then be able to support both the inside and outside window panes. (The inside ones are mostly self-supporting, but having the extra length there is easy.)

*yawn*! Time for bed. (Possibly after sneaking a ravioli or two...)

I *had* to share...

Found via Cake Wrecks: There, I Fixed It. Suggestion: swallow whatever you're eating/drinking before clicking on that link.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ugh... please, can I have my cooler temperatures back? It got up to a sweltering 30 C today, with the humidex at 37 C (98.6 F). Now, I know that's nothing for you folks down south... but I'm a delicate, wilting prairie flower with too much insulation. My poor old window AC is struggling to combat the heat. (The kitchen is nice, the rest of the house could do with being a few degrees cooler.)

Earlier tonight a big, black cloud moved in, and there's lots of lightening and thunder. There's been a little patter of rain, but I imagine other parts of the city (probably to the south, where I saw it come in) are getting torrents. (I've unplugged my computer, and am running off battery power. After writing this post, I'll shut it down to avoid the heat generated by it... every little bit counts.)

Earlier today I went over and weeded my mom's garden, and pulled a few next door as well (where the nice old lady lives). It wasn't too bad in the shade, but the sun was *brutal*. However, the weeds *really* needed pulling... some were about to set seed, and others had already started. In good news, the lovely black eyed susans set seed before dying from the crazy winter, and some seedlings have started coming back. In the fall I'll move them to where they should be.

Looks like the art fair is going to be postponed *again*... there's now 100% chance of rain being forecast, and *buckets* of it.

I can't think of anything else exciting going on right now, so I think I'll go sit in the kitchen for a bit... both for the cool air, and because I have a craft project there I need to finish.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


From a while ago:

Tip to the weatherman... if you apply the following function to the forecast, you'll be much more believable:
forecast high = max(prediction, current temperature)

This week's weather forecast:

Guess which day the outdoor art sale is scheduled for? (Note: It's still far enough off that I don't necessarily believe the forecast.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

When I have my own yard and garden...

When I have my own yard and garden, I will plant: corn, peas (sugar snap, and the kind that you shell), beans (green, but possibly others too), swiss chard, watermelon (the kind with taste, and seeds), potatoes, pumpkins (for jack-o-lanterns), herbs, tomatoes, raspberries, hot peppers, carrots, radishes, cucumbers (for pickles), plum tree...

In the flower area, I will have sweet peas, amongst many other things.

Dreaming of my future garden...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

MTS Payphone

I've told Mr MTS Payphone that I would like him to stop calling me, because it's stressing me out, being put in the middle of their dispute. I've asked him to find another method to contact my neighbour. I said that he could give me a method to contact him, in case she wanted to, but other than that, I'm out of this.

If he calls again, I'm going to call the remand people and ask them to ask him to stop calling me.

In more cheerful news, I took one of my neighbour's kids raspberry picking at my dad's. That totally made his day. :)


"MTS Payphone" just tried calling again. I didn't answer. I'm not in a mood to act as answering service for my neighbour. Grump.

I think I'll go read for a bit to try to get out of the bad mood this has put me in. Grrr.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Vacation, Day One

Today was a drizzley day. It rained in the morning, was overcast all day, and *humid*.

In the afternoon I wandered over to the farmer's market that popped up on Main Street recently. I bought some fresh bannock (still warm from the oven!) and a small amount of Swiss chard. I didn't know if I was allergic to Swiss chard, or whether I'd like it. I fried it up with some olive oil and garlic. Yum! No adverse reactions noticed either. Success! I now have another vegetable to add to my repertoire! Yay! It seemed rather pricey at the farmer's market... but you can't win them all. (I remember the price was $4.50 per whatever weight unit... I can't remember if it was pounds or kilos. If it *was* kilos, I guess that's not too bad... but I think it was pounds.)

After the farmer's market, I went across the street to check out the thrift shop I had noticed over there, but had never been in. I found a nice dinner plate ($1) and dessert plate (25 cents), and got a free mug with purchase (they were trying to cut down how many mugs they had).

Tonight I cooked real food: Swiss chard with garlic and olive oil, followed by a stir fry of udon noodles, the remaining baby bok choi once I removed the yellowed leaves, garlic, green onions (again removing dying bits), and a bit of stir-fry mix from a package. (Note to self: mimicking parts of a recipe from a book turns out better than packaged stir-fry seasoning.)

I also finished the underskirt I had intended to wear last weekend. (Whoops. Oh well.)

In other news, my neighbour's ex called from jail again. (Poll: Should I stop answering if my caller id says "MTS Payphone"?)

Then, tonight, when a Shaw telemarketer called, I let him sign me up for two months of free cable. After that it's $29.95 for either five or six months. (I wasn't paying full attention, because a TV show I like was on.) I didn't bother asking what it would be after that point, since they don't like to tell you that. I'm trying to decide if I'll cancel after the two free months, or if I'll keep going for the $30 period. I *have* been considering splurging on cable, but haven't wanted to make the financial plunge. However, $30 is an hour and a half of tutoring per month... perhaps I can justify it that way? Well, I'll have to think it over.

Is it wrong to be daydreaming about the Lee Valley lawn edger? It's $95 plus tax, and I live in an *apartment*, for cripes sake! (Looking at the Home Depot site, their's cost $20 to $30 dollars... so I'd have to break 3-5 of those to make the Lee Valley one a good buy. I know I've already killed one cheap one, and I think I may have done in two so far in my brief gardening career.) At any rate, it's not just the lack of a lawn edger that prevented me from gardening today... the rain was the main reason. My landlord said he'd loan me his lawn edger, but he's away for two weeks.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Found on Flickr

Handmade Porcelain Buttons

Pretty buttons!

Found on Flickr

Mittens in July

It's neat how these mittens look like pine cones!

Found on Flickr

Down to Earth Socks

I *love* the colour progression in these!

Found on Flickr

'Macgregor', owned by James R. Dempster, Ladyton

What a great sheep!

Found on Flickr

Helix Nebula in Felt


Found on Flickr



Found on Flickr

gnome quiltlet


Found on Flickr

Hugs and Kisses

Mmmm... yummy!

Found on Flickr

Fleecy Monkey!


Found on Flickr

Nighttime Garden Fox

I love this hooked rug!

Found on Flickr

Small purse-mushrooms pink


Found on Flickr

Fat yellow cat grasping at mouse

Hee! Adorable! (Check out the photo stream for more great mugs!)

Found on Flickr

Maple & Oak Box with Fused Glass Collage

Now here's a jewelry box I'd love to have!

Found on Flickr

Little fire-demon

Mischievously adorable!

Found on Flickr

Nightsongs (Gail)

*Lovely* lace pattern!

Found on Flickr

Luxury Fiber Sampler - milk latte top

I *so* want to pet this fibre!

Found on Flickr


Awww, a cute little sheepie!

Found on Flickr

dandelions going to seed?

Fun quilt design!

Found on Flickr

Grumpiness abounds!

They may be grumpy, but they're also adorable!

Found on Flickr

Baby Needle Felted Fairy Dragon 2

So adorable!!!!!!!

Found on Flickr

mini sashiko with dragon and koi stipple

More quilting inspiration!

Found on Flickr

heart treasure book1

The focus is a bit off in the photo, but the book cover design sure is cool!

Found on Flickr



Found on Flickr

campo de lavandas


Found on Flickr

Speckled Sparrow Silver Pendant

Lovely in its simplicity!

Found on Flickr

Tree Frog - A Sneak Peek

I *love* hansigurumi designs, and she's done it again!

Found on Flickr


Truly lovely!

Found on Flickr

Destashed - Mother of Pearl Buttons

Pretty purple buttons!

Found on Flickr

Hannah's quilt

I *love* how the brown ties the other colours together! Gorgeous quilt!

Found on Flickr


This artist makes the most adorable needle-felted bunnies! You really must go check them all out! (It was hard to pick just one to post.)

Found on Flickr

Little Red Bird House

I love the folk art style of this adorable birdhouse quilt!

Found on Flickr

Zoe the Sparkling Zebra

Cute! I love the sparkly silver stripes. :)

Found on Flickr

red & white scrap mini quilttop

Another charming quilt I love! (There is *so* much inspiration on Flickr!)

Found on Flickr

Handmade Fabric Flowers - Vanilla

Lovely! Made with a daisy loom! I don't think my daisy loom flowers ever looked that fantastic. (But then, I never thought to use fabric or button centres... or light green stems and stylish vases for that matter.)

Found on Flickr


There's something about this quilt that I just *love*!

Found on Flickr

Mikes Sock Blank & Sock

Cool! I never would have thought of painting a sock blank like that, but it came out fantastic!

Found on Flickr

StormTroooper Hat

The shading on the storm troopers is *amazing*!

Found on Flickr

Kacskaringót termő fa

Gorgeous wire-wrapping designs!!!

Found on Flickr

Mini Spinel Seahorse

I *love* this artists seahorses! I highly recommend checking them all out on her photostream. (This is by the same artist that crocheted the lovely seahorse bag.)

Found on Flickr


So pretty! I love how the fantastic yarn complements the tapestry crochet design!

Found on Flickr

Dexter + Cookie

I'm pretty sure I've blogged this design before, but it's just so cute, I had to blog it again! (Click through to find out info on the designer's Etsy shop!)


Egad, my computer is running *slow*!!! (512 MB of RAM *just* isn't cutting it any more!) I'm going to try to work my way through a bunch of waiting "Found on Flickr" posts (whenever there's a lull between students) to get some tabs closed, to try to improve the situation. Prepare for a deluge...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Communications with my downstairs neighbour

Communications with my downstairs neighbour

I also thanked the neighbour across the lane for hammering this morning, and encouraged him to do *many* noisy chores on Sunday mornings. I'm petty like that when I don't get enough sleep.

I talked to two people today... neither heard him when he was indoors, but they were disturbed when he moved outside at 5 am.

I still haven't started my sewing, but I did have the neighbours kids over for a bit. (Did I mention I'm petty when I'm tired?)