Friday, April 27, 2007


I have located the 5 mm circular needles but the 3 mm circs are still on the lam. I am definitely going to need the smaller size for the tank.... must keep searching...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

so tired.

I'm into Week 2 of my wake up early training plan, and it's not going so well... I'm so tired!!! Yesterday I got up at 6:30 AM, not 6 AM like my original plan, but I still was not feeling very well so I didn't want to push myself. I slept terribly that night, and was a zombie all day yesterday.

Today I was out of bed at 6:15 AM, and although I slept pretty well, it's been a slow start. More coffee!! Actually, I'm going to make a smoothie with Greens+, hopefully that will give me a boost of energy.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

new project.

I picked up yarn yesterday for my next knitting project: the Ribs and Lace Tank from Interweave Knits Spring 2007. Originally I was shopping for yarn for the wrap sweater on the cover, but I didn't love the colour in person, and the yarn was very close to my price limit ($10/ball) so I didn't want to make a hasty decision. Now that I've had more time to think about it, the wrap sweater in black would be very wearable... perhaps I'll go back next weekend.

Back to the tank - Romni doesn't carry the yarn specified in the pattern, so the staff helped me pick out an alternative (yes, she was helpful! you can't always count on that at Romni). Actually, she showed me a couple of options, and I decided on a slightly thicker yarn since I knit so loosely. Lucky me, it was cheap!! $3.49/ball. I also picked up some 5.5 mm circs, although I think I may already have some that size... My 3.0 mm circs are hiding somewhere, and I wanted to make a gauge swatch for the rib part of the tank (I get gauge with 3.5 mm but I'd like a tighter knit). This morning I noticed that my 5.0 mm circs are also missing, so I think they ran off together! I recall using them both not too long ago... they are probably tucked into a bag of yarn somewhere...
socks done!

OK, so the socks have been finished for a few weeks, I was just really slow to block them. And there is still one end that needs to be woven in.

Here they are, pre-blocking...

Oxo wanted to be part of the photo. At least he didn't lay down right on top of the socks! And the lovely socks, post-blocking and basking in the sun...

I guess they do look better after being blocked... Sock #1 (left) still looks a bit lumpy and the stitches are a bit uneven. Alas, blocking cannot cure all my knitting ills! Once they're on my feet, no one will notice anyway, not even me.

I am also blocking the sweater I knit over the winter, which has been piled up in the corner waiting to be finished for about 2 months now. It was such a big deal to me to knit a sweater, but once it was finished... meh... who cares. I still need to get buttons, but it can be worn button-less till then.

It's all pinned up like a science experiment. Not sure how to flatten the underarms... hope they look OK once I have it on. Mango told me that when she washed and blocked her sweater, she laid it out on the bed and then put towels on top of it because of her cats. Good advice! I put a towel on top of this one and Oxo found it to be a lovely bed, if a little damp. Hurumph.
spring cleaning.

The weather was glorious yesterday (today is going to be glorious too! maybe even more so), so T-man and I took the opportunity to clean up the deck and get things organized for our container garden. Whenever I would look out the deck door, I would be saddened by the mess out there - we did not clean up very well in the fall, and there was miscellaneous junk around: broken pots, a tarp, tiles from the roof...



Ah, much better! There is a sumac tree in the backyard, and those trees are prolific! At least 20 sumac keys in every plant pot and piles of them on the deck. We swept up leaves and dirt, wiped down chairs, tossed broken pots and put things away. I wouldn't say that we're ready for planting yet, but it's a start. Today I want to get some manure and new soil to supplement our old soil (I was doing some research on Friday) and we need to pick up a few new containers too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rachel Brice and Mardi Love.

Watch More Bebo Tv Uploaded by

Friday, April 20, 2007

let's review.

So how is my "wake up early" training going? I know you've been wondering about that heh heh. Here's a day-by-day review:

Monday: despite going to be late and sleeping terribly, I got up at 7 am and was out of the house on time... about 8:04 am. I had a dream that I had a bellydance performance with A., at my parents' old house, but I thought it was somewhere else and got in a cab to go there.... then I realized I had to go back to the house but there was all this traffic and I was going to be late or miss my first show! Oh no! It's so funny that the dream combined influences from the previous night (Layali) and the next day (I'm always worried about sleeping in and being late when I have to get up early for something).

Tuesday: not so good. I got up at 7:30 am and left the house around 9 am. It was too easy to press the snooze button - I need to set the alarm for an earlier time.

Wednesday: Again I slept terribly... no strange dreams, but I had a cold, and cramps, and I woke up around 4 am feeling really hot and uncomfortable. But I managed to get up on time (maybe a bit after 7 am) and out the door so that I could see Stephen Lewis speak at the conference.

Thursday: I didn't push myself to get too early, because I thought I would still be sick enough to stay home from work... but I slept well and felt better! Up around 7 am, and I was ready to leave around 8:30 am. (Checked Facebook instead heh.)

Friday: Obviously I woke up early, because here I am posting at 8:30 am! Last night I set the alarm a little bit earlier, so that I can press snooze twice before 7 am. The motivation is not there to be ready to leave by 8 am... there's no reason for me to be ready early so I end up taking my time getting ready. I'm OK with that. Being up and out of bed on time is the important thing.

It helps that the weather is turning spring-like... the sun streams in when I open the blinds and it's so quiet on the street. Am I turning into a morning person?!

Next week will be a challenge... up by 6 am. Yikes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I brought my camera to work today, with the idea that I would take some pictures of my work space, or of the view from my window, some memories of the time I've spent at this job. But I didn't. However, it was a beautiful sunny day today, so I made sure my camera was easily accessible on the walk home - not buried in the bottom of my backpack - and I took some random shots of the city...

The skyline

Family of cranes at the CityPlace condo development

Roots growing on concrete near Skydome. I like that the top of the CN tower is just peeking out at the top.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


On Sunday night, the Harbourfront CC bellydance alumni met up at Layali Arabesque at Myth. The dancer, Emese, was excellent (of course!) and it was really great to get together with the girls. I was hoping that the dancer would use a shamadan for her folklore piece (the dancers do two sets: one cabaret and one folklore). A. said it was unlikely... but guess what?

Wheeeeee out came the shamadan!

Emese pulled Yasmina out on the floor to dance, since it was her birthday. There was cake too! Yasmina has some serious long blonde hair, and it was super straight (flat ironed, obviously). I was trying to decide if she has extensions...

Sorry about the poor quality pics - I didn't want to be obnoxious and use the flash, so my photos are blurry and "artistic".

I'm a bit behind in posting... I'll back date some of them so keep reading down the page!

Tonight we made a pretty simple dinner of whole wheat penne rigate with tomato sauce and courgette medallions (sliced zucchini... but doesn't "courgette medallions" sound better?). T-man bought some olive bread this afternoon, so we made garlic bread with cheese to go with the pasta. I need lots of garlic - I have a cold. :(
cookies, but not cookies.

On Sunday, I whipped up a batch of Raw Oatmeal Cacao Nib Kookies. Well... I was missing a number of ingredients so I made a few adjustments. I'm not sure it even counts as being the same recipe! Obviously I didn't read through it very well before going grocery shopping - I bought dates specifically for these (first time buying dates ever) but my eyes stopped at the first ingredient!

These are raw cookies, i.e. no baking. I didn't have cacao nibs, so I used chocolate chips instead, which changes the essence of the cookie, but I'm cool with that. They are very similar to the energy balls that Wendy shared with me. They don't seem like cookies to me, more like a healthy snack, and I've been enjoying them for breakfast or as a snack during the conference, although they get a little messy away from the refrigerator.

Conference? What conference? Why, the IAPA Health & Safety 2007 Conference. Here's Craig Kielburger, one of the keynote speakers:

I volunteered to attend because Stephen Lewis is also speaking at the conference. (oh yeah, and work paid for it) But I am enjoying the H&S seminars! I find the workplace wellness-type topics interesting, but the two sessions I attended on ergonomics were duds.

The swag bag is hilarious - safety glasses and ear plugs. Sweet!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

new routine.

I am a bit worried about being able to get up early enough for my new job with PHM... hopefully she's not reading this LOL! I have to be there at 7 AM, 6:45 actually, and I am not an early person. Plus it will take me close to an hour to travel - an hour for sure by TTC, probably less if I bike. (I haven't done a test run yet, but my estimate is 45 min.)

Of course I'm ABLE to get up early, but it's going to be hard. So I decided that I will gradually get up earlier over the next couple of weeks (it's training):

Week 1: I have a conference Mon-Wed which starts at 8:30, so my goal is to be out of bed by 7 am and ready to leave the house by 8 am.

Week 2: Up by 6 am and ready to leave by 7 am. Ugh, just writing that is painful.

I'm not going to actually leave the house at that time - what to do? It has to be quiet because T-man will be sleeping, but interesting enough to prevent me from taking a nap on the couch. I thought about doing yoga or something, but it's better for me to get showered and dressed first thing. Maybe I could start dinner? Knitting and reading are too sedentary, I might just close my eyes "for a second"! T-man suggested that I use my computer - I can always waste time online. If I'm really ambitious, I could go to work early and work out at the gym. If I'm really really ambitious, I could travel to the cafe and still have time to get to work.

Week 3: New job starts! I HAVE to be up and at'em on time. Out of the house by 6 am. Up by 5-5:30 am.

I will reduce my morning prep time by showering the night before and wearing less makeup. (I can't go without makeup, that's downright mean. To my coworkers. ha.) My hair will be tied back all day, so no need to blow dry or style it. Don't worry, I WILL brush it! It will be very important to pick out clothes and pack my bag the night before - it's amazing how that eats up time.

I've been officially approved for the LOA from work, and some of my co-workers know... I shouldn't be so nervous about it but I feel like they'll all hate me 1. for escaping (ha ha) 2. for being smart enough to request the leave (thanks TH!) and, most importantly, 3. because they will have to pick up my workload. My job is not hard, and I haven't been very busy lately, but no one seems to like my duties. Oh well, it's not my job to manage work flow! Especially now!! And they probably won't hate me, I'm just being sensitive.

When do I start getting excited??
Food log for Friday:

8 AM - coffee
10:30 AM - an orange and an apple
1 PM - egg salad sandwich
3 PM - 3 almond rice balls (I was going to have them with soup, but just ate them alone instead)
6:30 PM - orange and a few peanuts
9:30 PM - bean burrito, salsa with avocado and corn chips

1.5 hours - bellydance practice

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

green goo soup.

We finally made a vegan meal - I needed a break after all the cheese and eggs from Easter. (We still have 7 hard boiled eggs... expect egg salad tomorrow.)

I had an idea for a green soup, to use up the kale, collards and spinach that we had in the fridge. We were going to base it on a recipe that I found on the internet ages ago, but when I looked it up in my recipe book, well... I had remembered something totally different! So we made it up as we went along.

We started with the basics: onions, garlic, celery. Added chopped up collards, red curly kale and spinach. Tossed in two potatoes to thicken it up. Vegetable broth, coriander, ginger, tumeric, mustard seed, cayenne, salt and pepper make it tasty. Puree.

It doesn't look too good.... but what's that over on the left?

I liked how Chris at Eat Air served rice with his black bean soup, so I made the Almond Rice Balls from ExtraVeganZa to have with the soup.

They are kind of bland on their own, but they went perfectly with the soup! Delish!

Food log for Wednesday:

8 AM - coffee
10:30 AM - yogurt with cereal, raisins, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
2:30 PM - perogies
6:30 PM - some chips and peanuts
9:30 PM - green soup with almond rice balls

1 PM - yoga class

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Food log for Tuesday:

7:45 AM - coffee
10 AM - yogurt with raisins and cereal
1:30 PM - pasta
5:30 PM - fruit bar
6:30 PM - chips
9:30 PM - giant meal salad: lettuce, barley-lentil salad, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, hard-boiled egg, cheese

12 PM - weight class - not as tough as last week, but my upper back is feeling it... and my triceps...

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, April 09, 2007

Food log for Monday:

8 AM - coffee
10:30 AM - banana
12 PM - a couple of peanuts
2:30 PM - leftover pasta with spinach & chick peas
6:30 PM - lentil barley salad and cole slaw, a few crackers with spinach dip
9:30 PM - Easter dinner redux: quiche, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, barley salad, perogies, a hard-boiled egg and toast

1 PM - yoga class

Sunday, April 08, 2007

busy in the kitchen.

I was very productive in the kitchen this weekend. I took the day off on Thursday to make paska (Ukrainian Easter bread). It's become a tradition.

There are three different recipes that I reference, and this year I used Mary Capp Bowan's Paska recipe. I altered it a little - added 2 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. each of lemon and orange rind - and didn't follow her method exactly. However, I did mix the yeast with the dry ingredients instead of proofing it in warm water first, to my detriment... it didn't rise! When I checked on it after the first hour, the dough was the same size as when I put it in the bowl. Oh dear. I didn't have enough flour to make another batch - I would have to go to the store to get new yeast and new flour and start all over. Ack!

For some reason, I decided to put the dough back in the mixer and knead it for a few more minutes. It kind of looked like the yeast wasn't dissolved - there were little bumps in the dough but they may have been from the lemon and orange rind. Stir stir stir. Knead knead knead. Then I put the dough back into the oven to see if it would rise... Success! I was so relieved.

I made two braids, one with raisins which I fashioned into a ring (and it took some work to tuck the ends in nicely), and other was a straight braid (no pics, sorry, my parents ate half of it this morning before I could take photos).

Saturday afternoon, I made my "famous" lentil-barley salad, which is an original recipe that T-man and I came up with after we had a similar salad from Vegetable Kingdom. (side note, Veg Kingdom has been closed for years, but I think the proprietress Anita sells frozen entrees to Whole Foods Market.) It contains French lentils, pearl barley, celery, onion (preferably green onion but I used yellow), carrots, corn and dressed with garlic, lemon juice, dill, tarragon, olive oil and salt & pepper. It's my stand-by pot luck dish.

That's not all! I also made truffles. Chocolatey goodness. Half are coated with Green & Black's cocoa powder, half with coconut.

I'm not going to cook a thing for the next week!!!
Food log for Sunday:

9:30 AM - coffee
10:30 AM - cereal with yogurt and raisins
1:30 PM - Easter lunch at my parents' house: perogies & sour cream, my famous lentil-barley salad, green salad, apricot-barley salad that my mom made, mashed potatoes & mushroom gravy, sweet potatoes, wine, green beans sauteed with portabello mushrooms, cole slaw, spinach & feta quiche. Dessert: apple pie, truffles, coffee.

I ate so much... feel like I will never eat again! Except that we have tons of leftovers, including a dozen (a DOZEN!) hard-boiled eggs. There will be a lot of egg salad sandwiches this week.
almost done.

The second sock is almost done! Only about 7 rows till the ribbing. Unfortunately, the stripe sequence does not match sock #1 - my gauge changed on the foot before I turned the heel. (There were some things going on and I was quite anxious... it came out in the knitting.) Oh well, I'll just have to accept it... I am NOT pulling out half the sock just so that the stripes match!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Food log for Saturday:

9:30 AM - coffee
10:30 AM - banana
12:30 PM - fruit bar
2 PM - chips
4 PM - leftover stir fry (I just picked out the tofu)
7 PM - apple
9:30 PM - pasta with tomato sauce, spinach & chick peas.

We wanted something really quick to make, since it was getting late and we didn't have enough cash to order pizza. Frozen spinach and a can of chick peas... voila!

11 AM - bellydancing class

Monday's class is cancelled for Easter, so I decided to try out Saturday's class. It was really good - I like the instructor and she gave me some good feedback on posture and technique. It would be great to go twice a week, but I can't afford it. (Well, I could afford it but I just don't want to spend the money! Must practice at home more often!)
trip to orillia.

Ok, so Orillia is not such an exciting place, but Wendy and Zoe were staying with family there, so we made the trip up Hwy. 11. The weather was not great...

Um, where's spring?

There was a bit of blowing snow, but it wasn't too bad. We arrived at the H family residence and were immediately adopted by the family. Everyone is so friendly and nice, and it's just like being at home! (This was our third visit, and I'm finally starting to remember names.) We took off our coats and got set up with drinks, then it was time to play with Zoe!

Zoe and Auntie Nikki (sp?)
She might be a hair dresser when she grows up.

Riding in the "choo-choo" train.

She was LOVING this! Someone would push her around in the box - there was no shortage of volunteers - and then they put Zoe's cousin Nicholas in the box too, and that was cuteness overload. Priceless!! Kids don't need expensive toys, just a box and some imagination. Then it was time for dinner...

Zoe is pretty good at feeding herself, i.e. making a mess. Good thing Mama was there to make sure some food got in her mouth. I love the bib-with-sleeves.... you need full coverage.

Wendy and Zoe relaxing after dinner.

Hope you guys had a safe flight home! It was so awesome to spend time with you!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Food log for Wednesday:

7:15 AM - coffee
8:15 AM - bread with PB (I had a meeting and wouldn't be able to eat mid-morning, so I ate a little something before I left the house)
9:30 AM - green tea
11:30 AM - an apple and a few nuts
2:30 PM - leftover pizza from yesterday
4 PM - English Breakfast tea (not earl grey - I'm switching it up! We don't usually have English Breakfast at work)
6:30 PM - orange
9:30 PM - stir fry with tofu, snow peas, broccoli, celery, carrots, bean sprouts, green onions, coconut milk & cashews on brown basmati rice

1 PM - yoga

For dinner tonight, we made a stir fry based on the recipe for Coconut Ginger Vegetables with Udon Noodles from ExtraVeganZa. We switched up the vegetables and had it over brown basmati rice instead of noodles. I also decided to add some tofu, which I marinated with tamari, ginger, garlic and nutritional yeast and fried separately. Delicious!

Bye Trypsyl!

Mr. & Mrs. Cream Cheese sold their house yesterday! Congrats! It sounds like it was a roller-coaster ride, but it's finally over. Phew!

They came over today to take Trypsyl home. We'll miss the big lug!! He is so sweet and mellow, doesn't cause trouble (not like our cats), and just loves to cuddle. I told him that he could come back anytime. It seemed like he wanted to stay - he was not too happy with his owners for abandoning him!

Here's a little photo tribute to the most ginormous cat I have ever met...

Rolling around on the floor

Enjoying some pets

In all his glory... the Funky 16 Corners CD is for scale

On his way home. Bye Tryp!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Food log for Tuesday:

8 AM - coffee
10 AM - banana
11 AM - cereal with yogurt and raisins, green tea
2 PM - tofurkey sandwich with cheese & lettuce
3:30 PM - earl grey tea
6:45 PM - smoothie with cantalope, apple, pear, blueberries, bananas and soy milk (frozen fruit mix that I chopped up on the weekend)
10 PM - homemade pizza with spinach & tomatoes

muscle conditioning class at the gym... I had some serious jelly legs afterward!
Food log for Monday:

8 AM - coffee
9:45 AM - green tea
11 AM - yogurt with raisins, dried cranberries and chopped almonds
3 PM - channa over rice (only half eaten due to knot in stomach)
9 PM - dinner at Lee Restaurant for G's birthday - very good and lots of veg options

1 PM - yoga class
6 PM - bellydancing class
food log backlog.

Sorry for the lack of posts! Yesterday was an interesting day.... I requested a leave of absence from work and had a knot in my stomach all day from the anxiety!!! I feel much more relaxed today. No official confirmation yet, but my manager made a comment that sounded like it would be approved. Keep yer fingers crossed! (although it doesn't really matter whether or not they approve it, because I have Plan B, it just makes things... nicer.)

I went out for dinner last night too, which was very yummy, will blog more later tonight.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Yes, that's right - necklaces plural. I finished the unfinished chain necklace and made a new one.

The lighting is a bit off in the photos - it's a grey and rainy day. I tried to adjust using Photoshop, with help from the master graphic designer in the house, but it didn't quite do the trick.

These are the charms... still need to practice wire working but I'm getting much better. My loops are no longer triangles!

The new necklace is a 3-strander with turquoise*, wood and pearl* seed beads.

This is how it looks on. (I tried very hard to relax my neck for the photo!) The strands are different lengths, but they don't lay flat when it's on.

*not real turquoise or pearls
sock update.

I finished the foot, turned the heel (is it called "turning the heel" if you're doing a short-row heel? for some reason I don't think so), and am now in the final stretch.... the leg!

I like the short-row heel much more than picking up gusset stitches, although the slip stitch rows on the heel flap give it nice definition. I always end up with gaps when picking up stitches, even when I pick up extras - I end up picking up a stitch in a loose stitch and it pulls open when I try to tighten it up. Arrgh! That's happened with these socks too, where the short rows connect back into the round.
Food log for Saturday:

9:30 AM - coffee
10:30 AM - more coffee
11:45 AM - banana
1 PM - sandwich (tofurkey slices, cheese, lettuce) and carrots
4 PM - coffee
7:30 PM - cupcake - they are all gone!
8:45 PM - burrito with refried beans, guacamole, lettuce, cheese & salsa