Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"I Did It..."

I randomly ran across this bumper sticker to-day.  It was displayed (proudly) on a small "smart car" parked near my work.  I am still not sure whether it was actually a positive comment on the owner's life style or a wry joke on the demands of modern (read Nike) life style.  Anyway I took it as a sign.  I take a lot of things as "signs."  When the coffee house runs out of 2% milk, I take it as a sign to add cream - Oh yes, I could probably add skim - but that wouldn't necessarily be a positive sign, would it?

Anyway, another challenge in my blogging group is "random" -  Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something!!....look for random signs maybe?????  Well I can do...random..... just watch me!!

Sooooo here is a  list of the random things that I have managed to do in the days since my last post......this is not to be confused with the musical "last post."  I am still here - however randomly connected that may be!!!

1. I just ordered 500lbs of yarn today.   How random is that? Given that it was a yarn that I had had doubts about; but it has proven to be a "winner."  I never thought that I would be able to duplicate the original 250lbs that I took from a liquidator.  Well a few strategically placed phone calls and voila I have more yarn. Maybe not so random..we'll see.

2. The washing machine broke - again - today.  Last week we spent $400.00 to have the transmission fixed - on a washing machine - a car yes - but where were my clothes going anyway that they needed to change gears - OK "gear" I get; it needs a transmission :) This is random.

3. A dog ran into my yard today.  We have three cats and an unfenced yard because dogs are on leashes and cats rule!!!  Well the dog was a neighbour's Samoyed - lovely dog and I was able to coerce my 19 year-old into catching the dog and returning it to the neighbour.  Well, this family is in film - how random is that? and offered my son a job - not sure whether it will be in film or in dog walking - either way it may mean remuneration. - The rule here is to watch out for randomly lost dogs - their owners may have connections!!!

4. I made a lentil salad tonight - this is really random.  So sometimes random can be good for you!!

5. The weather has decided to randomly pick a number betweeen OºC and 25ºC and vacillate between them. It's a lottery.  I hope I win on the weekend!!!

Please post all your encounters of a "random kind,"  as proof that the world is really in a state of complete chaos and anything that resembles logic is just a magician's trick to make us believe that there is form and order in our lives, when it is all really sleight of hand and happenstance!!!

Have a randomly wonderful day!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jingle Bells?

I finally found very tiny jingle bells to finish Snowy Evening Scarf.  The only problem is there is no "jingle" in them.  Someone has made a jingle bell without the little ball that makes all the sound - read fun or magic!! This is akin to pianos without keys or violins without strings.

OK the bell parts are interesting and the new ones are bright and shiny; but we need the sound too!! Actually I tried to remedy the situation by getting out the heavy artillery - pliers and tweezers.  I pried open the bells and dropped a tiny metal bead into each one.  It's sort of OK.  You really have to shake them to get any sort of sound.  Any ideas?

This actually reminded me of the children's story Polar Express.  It is the story of a young boy who rides a fictional train to the North pole to see if Santa really exists.  I haven't read the story; someone just related it to me.  The story ends with a tiny silver bell and those who can hear the sound of the bell know that magic, like Santa, exists in this world!!

Well I believe in magic and I believe that someday I'll find a small jingle bell that actually rings!!  Pictures are of Snowy Evening Scarf.

I added the bells with a dental floss threader and video taped it.  I'll post when edited

P.S. The woman who told me the story of Polar Express was a working mom with one child.  Her husband was the stay at home parent looking after the child during the day. This father had decided that he wasn't going to raise his son on lies, so for them there was no Santa Claus, or tooth fairies, or all the other make-believe creatures in the world. I think that reality is a tough pill to take without a little sugar, pixie dust or  sprinkling of snow....jingle bells...jingle bells....

Have a magical day!!!


OK I forgot to post a picture of the constellation!!  It is very easy to find in the sky because of the 3 diagonal stars which form Orion's belt.

And I forgot to tell you the rest of the story - must have been a bad morning.  Artemis, in her grief, decided to immortalize Orion (who was just a Titan and could therefore die) by turning him into a constellation in the sky.

My other two celestial favourites are the Big Dipper a.k.a. The Drinking Gourd, which featured prominently in the Underground Railway and Polaris, the North Star, which can be easily found because it aligns perfectly with the two stars on the right side of the Big Dipper.

Take your direction from the stars. They have been with us since the beginning!!

Have a heavenly day!!

The Haunted Hunter

Orion is in the South sky.  I almost forgot to look for him in this incredibly mild weather.  Orion in the South sky is a sign of Spring. In March when the evenings are usually below 0ºC, I would always look for this amazing constellation to remind me that the weather will be getting better soon.

Well it was 20ºC when we went for a walk tonight and I didn't have to look for signs of Spring,  -  we had Summer!!!!

There were also two very bright "lights" in the sky that I was curious about - (about which I was curious). I went to my trusty google.  It took about a minute to look up "Stars in the sky over Toronto." I not only got some text information, I was treated to 2 videos from"The Sky Guy" who told me that Jupiter now is the closest to Earth than it's ever been and that Venus is the other bright light in the sky.

This is indeed the Age of Aquarius. A time when we can transmit information at the speed of light. The only "thing" holding us "back" is the speed at which we can type and the time it takes to think of the words to type!!

So why the haunted hunter?  Orion is the "hunter" from the Greek myth Artemis and Orion.  He was killed accidently by Artemis the moon goddess who was tricked by her brother Apollo into believing that Orion was really just a bird in the distance. Apollo said that she probably couldn't hit the bird with her bow and arrow.

Being vain, Artemis (Diana) leapt to the challenge and slew(unwittingly) her lover.  It's a sad story that has been told in many forms and sung in many songs over the years - a haunting reminder that even the gods are vulnerable!

Greek mythology is a wonderful source of inspiration for knitting designs of all sorts!

Have a divine day!!

Monday, March 12, 2012


So it's Monday morning and I am totally disoriented.  The clocks moved forward an hour sometime during the wee hours of Sunday morning and I slept in an hour both Sunday and Monday.  Help....

I managed to turn the clock on the stove forward; but we are still waiting for the other time pieces in the house to be moved forward by the electronic robots that control our lives - thank god for an old stove!!

I had to Google "exact time EDT."  OK I complain about electronic robots; but I'm sorry, I couldn't live without Google.  It's my spell checker, thesaurus, encyclopedia, time piece and first go-to for anything except a hug and I bet, if I keyed in "need a hug."  I would get one or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Well, I just did and got a comedy site.  But I'm serious. I even found an "I don't need a hug" site. Incidentally everyone of those sites has some form of advertising on it so I guess that most are just in it for the money!

Alas, maybe it's time to count one's blessings and stop moaning!!!
1. I remembered to make a sandwich for lunch, thereby saving, $5.00 or more.
2. I corrected several mistakes in my knitting project this morning - a good sign.
3. We had guests for dinner on Saturday so the house is reasonably clean.
4. It was warm - really sort of "promise of summer" warm on Sunday, so I got a head start cleaning the garden.
5. Because we had company coming, I went out and bought a cast iron 5 qt. cooking pot for a great price. OK it wasn't the Creuset brand at $350.00 nor was it a knock off brand from a kitchen store at $88.00. It was Cuisinart at $58.00 and I was thrilled!! I also bought a salad bowl for $15.00 that is big enough to hold salad for the entire Russian army - even though I wasn't planning on having them for dinner - just yet!
6. A store called today to say that she had sold 2 of my lace scarf kits in 2 hours. Not bad for a Monday morning.
7. My horoscope wasn't a total disaster today - just a little amorphic.
8. It's now 11:55. Time to walk to the Second Cup for a coffee and I'll be over the hump!!

Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


I was posting today on V7N an on-line web community because someone had asked for a cure for writer's block.  It's a tough ailment and as many of us know there are few things that can claim to be the EX-LAX of the thought process.

Anyway, one of my suggestions was to use a quick trick from Edward de Bono.  He did a lot of work on lateral thinking and is revered in the area of business advertising and marketing. Anyway one of his suggestions to break the log jam of the thought process and to get things moving again is to use a random dictionary search. It goes like this:
1. Note the number of pages in your dictionary and approximately the number of words per double page spread. 
2. Ask someone (or find another random number that you can us) to give you a number between 25 - and ( the number of pages in your dictionary)  I chose the number 25 to skip over all the intro pages.  Then ask for another number between 1 and the approximate number of words in a double page spread.
3. Open your dictionary to the page of the first number i.e. page 246  and then count down the words to the second number i.e.17. Use this word in your next post or writing exercise.

It was a slow day so I decided to try it...again.  I found one of my dictionaries.  I have many, including a huge "Shorter Oxford English Dictionary."  I guess that it is considered shorter because it is just one book - though rather large.  The full Oxford Dictionary is the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  I guess that we have a lot to say and that begs the question, "Why do any of us have writer's block"!!!!!

OK back to reality or the manipulation, thereof.  I found the word evening.  Actually there were a lot of related words - eventide, evensong, eventually;  I stopped at eviscerate.  OK I cheat.  I wasn't going to use eviscerate in a blog post, even though my computer had caught a full scale Trojan virus today and believe me I could have taken the innards out of anyone near enough.  Fortunately my computer person was contactable and we were able to do a system restore over the phone within half an hour.

Although the aspects for the day weren't that great, I wasn't going to read any entrails to see what the future had in store.  Instead I decided on the word "evensong."  I love music and spiritual music has a kind of folk quality to it, which I love.  I did, however come across a posting of a Jazz evensong. Now maybe a night out at the church for an evening of Jazz vespers is what the religious community needs to shepherd a few us back.

Anyway for the must part evening prayers, for me has been the meditation I do when I am working on a little plain knitting - not to be confused with plainsong.  Purl rows have to be the plainsong of evening vespers. We knit the garments that clothe the body as we conjure the thoughts that nurture the soul.

Here's a little Evensong from Ely Cathedral Cambridge.

Have an auspicious evening!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

12 things I like about.....

........knitting.  This 12 "things" challenge has spawned a lot of spin offs. So I decided I would do my own spin off - no pun intended for knitting. Twelve things I love about knitting -

1. Colour - certainly yarn colours create a lot of excitement and colours of yarn combined in patterns such as Fair Isle are even more exciting.

2 Texture - there is something about a cable that says, "here's a hug." Someone has to write a philosophical treatise on knitted cables - they speak volumns about the human condition.

3. Lace - it's an addiction - better than some addictions and you can't knit lace under the influence of any addition!!!

4. Fibre - there is something about wool and yes there are other fibres - but I am more interested in the coat of the soft fuzzy animal - that keeps us grounded and reminds us that we are just part of the chain - we have moved from baa to bah humbug - but we are still one of them only with debt :)

5. Consistency - knitting, for the most part is regular.  Even in its irregularity, it is made up of regular repetitive stitches.

6. Quiet - it is something that you can do at 5:00am and not wake the house - though once, maybe when I win the lottery, I will vacuum at 6:00am - just saying and it has to be a big win, so I am forgiven!!!!

7. Connectivity - I didn't study history at university; it was too real.  I preferred English and it's inferred reality.  Melissa Leapman just posted on Facebook a quote form John Milton's Paradise Lost and I responded with "they also serve who only stand and wait" - read they also serve who only sit and knit.
It's this connection to history and literature that I love.

I can actually be knitting the sock that the character was knitting in "To The Lighthouse." Virginnia Wolf must have knit or she would not have been able to create the stream of consciousness of the knitter - something like...I wonder if the sock will fit...have I made it long enough...wide enough.....We are all connected.

8. Beauty - the beauty of lace in a breathtaking shawl - rivals a sunset or sunrise or......

9. Camaraderie - 2,000,000 million knitters on Ravelry says it all and I love all 65 knitters who signed up for my Snowy Evening KAL.  It would have been nice if some of the 400 odd knitters who downloaded the free pattern had popped in to say  thank you - fortunately we are able to pick our friends!!  

10. Creativity - even if you don't design, when you knit patterns designed by someone else, you still bring so much of yourself to the project that you own it!!

11. Education - like it or not, if you knit, your enjoyment is enhanced by the presence of the internet and so you have had to learn "the computer" in addition to various knitting techniques. This is a dynamic activity - rocking chairs with a chassis.

12. Personal Satisfaction - even if my daughter never wears the sweater I knit for her - I really enjoyed knitting it!!

Pls add to my list

Have an amazing day.