Monday, August 31, 2009

These are the times

I sent the boys and their best friend off to a nearby pizzeria to buy themselves lunch today, because (a) it seems like a fun end-of-summer thing to do, and (b) I have minimal food in the house, and there was no time for grocery shopping.

When they came home, they presented me with this IMG_0820
There's a candle stuck in the watermelon, which they very thoughtfully did not light.

accompanied by a spontaneous, rousing version of Happy Birthday. It's not my birthday.

I have been giggling about their silliness all afternoon.

So, these seem to me to be the times remembered, to help one through the inevitable kaka that comes with two teenaged boys. Remind me about this when I need it, okay?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Same bat time, same bat channel...

yeah, I know, I just dated myself...

so I had someone from the Humane Wildlife Removal Association come by to check things out, and see if our toilet plunger target had any friends hanging around. After climbing all over the roof, peeking into the attic, and looking in the garage rafters (all while wearing a black t-shirt with "Bat Guy" in huge yellow letters, which was no doubt comforting to the neighbors), my house was declared "clean". Happy news, considering bat removal would cost in excess of $1000, and frankly, if I'm going to spend that much, it should be on something fun.

So imagine my surprise when I went into the garage the next morning and narrowly missed stepping on a dead bat. WTF is going on around here???!!!! My first thought was that if anyone found it, I would be charged with killing a bat. Oh, did I forget to mention it's illegal to kill bats? I love this - they damage your home, have highly toxic droppings, can bite you in your sleep, and are frequent carriers of rabies... but they are protected by the law. If some guy broke into my house I could shoot him legally, but I can't kill a bat. Someone please explain this to me - even after a couple of beers it still makes no sense.

I think I have figured out how the first one got in - climbed through the garage, through the air vent in my bedroom which is DIRECTLY BEHIND MY HEAD. Why yes, I am a little freaked. And no, no I haven't been sleeping all that well of late. I have been through the garage with a flashlight, and found nothing (THANK GOD) and will be going out again when I'm done this to look more closely - think happy thoughts.
Thankfully, the boys and I headed out for a couple of days at Sandbanks, and we lucked into the best day of the week - sunny, windy, hot - I love this place, it's good for the soul,IMG_0784 and the boys are still not so grown-up that they don't enjoy climbing the huge dunes only to pitch themselves back down. And repeat ad naseum.
I was the only one who braved the water, but it was surprisingly warm - I do love lake swimming...
We made our traditional stop at The Big Apple for the traditional photo op, for which they were less than pleased, as is our tradition.
And now we are home till school starts in a couple of weeks - way too soon for me, but I seem to be in the minority. Although I just checked in on them , and my 13 year old and nearly (gasp) 15 year old are dissolved in laughter over jokes about farts and penises. So maybe school's not so bad.

Some knitting - I am very close to finishing my Heather Hoodie Vest, made from very well aged Cherry Tree Hill bulky merinoIMG_0761;
and am working away on the 3rd reincarnation of my Cookie A-inspired sock, which I started at her Sock Summit class.IMG_0760 I love it, and I think it'll look good when done. And it's complicated enough that I stay focused, but no so much so that it frustrates me.

Lord know, there's enough of that going around right now...

Off to check the garage - happy thoughts, happy thoughts...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I've got some good news...

and some not-so-good news...

good news is, the air conditioner is fine - it seems that one of Ben's friends inadvertently turned off the furnace switch, thinking he was turning on a basement light... fortunately, the service call was free and the technician was most understanding. And I'd just like to clarify, I love the heat - I don't complain about it ever as far as my own comfort goes; I can sleep in anything, knit in anything - just ask my mom. But the dogs and the boys were absolute puddles, and I felt badly for them, especially my velcro-dog, Charlie, who will not leave my side regardless of the circumstances.

more good news - summer weather seems to be here, and is expected to continue through next week, which will hopefully give us a good time at Sandbanks...

the not-so-good? Well, I woke up this morning, around 3:30, to a sound which I thought was a bird in the eavestrough outside the window beside my bed. I tried to get back to sleep, but the sound kept on, and started to sound closer than outside. So--- I figured it might be a mouse, and rolled onto my back, debating what to do. Something swooshed over my face, and in a total panic I realized it was

a BAT - in my bedroom - flying over my head.

I am not a screamer by nature, but boy, did I let loose with a howl, which certainly didn't help matters; in a small (very), calm (not so much) part of my brain I watched this thing react to the sound and alter its flight path accordingly. Fortunately the boys were at their dad's last night, but the dogs were right in there, trying to "help" by springing about in the air and snapping wildly. I was absolutely PETRIFIED - I cannot stress this enough - and grabbed the only weapon I could find - a toilet plunger - swinging at the thing until I finally connected with it. I bagged it, brought it outside and let it go, because... well, I don't know, I just did.

I think it may have slipped in when I had the door open to let the dogs out last night, but I called a bat removal service just to have them do an inspection, because I know that bats live in colonies. Big groups. Many bats. Perhaps in my attic. Makes me all shuddery just to think of it. The cost for bat removal STARTS at $1000 for all the places I called, so I'm hoping this was just a lone, free mutant bat trying to make a statement. Maybe running away from home to show his parents and million other colony neighbors.

Fingers crossed...

In the meantime, I am starting to feel like Marlon Perkins from Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" - remember him? Every time turn around there is another goddamned animal that doesn't belong here, but seems to want to.... maybe I should start filming this... make a reality show... maybe I could make enough to pay for bat removal...

so here's to more good news... please??

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mysteries of Life... the Ongoing Saga

Can anyone explain to me why, in the midst of the only heat wave we've had in Southern Ontario all summer, my air conditioner has stopped working?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oregon Wrap-Up

I am still feeling almost hung-over from last week, but have come home to full-blown SUMMER, so yay!

I was lucky enough to get out to Cannon Beach while in Oregon - I skipped the book signing event, which I knew would be busy and I am not one for crowds, and I'm usually too tongue-tied when I meet people I admire to do anything other than blush and babble - not pretty - so instead I headed to the coast, about 1.5 hours from Portland.

There were mountains, spectacularly tall pine trees, there was drizzle and sun and cloud, and then there was the best beach I have ever seen... ever
I fell very seriously in love with the gigantic rock formations in the water, the largest of which was covered with screeching seagulls. IMG_0718 I love the size of this beach - it goes on for miles, and is the widest I've ever seen - vast expanses of flat, solid, excellent walking sand. Even in crappy weather, it was amazing.
The trees in front of the houses have obviously seen a lot of weather - they actually grow like this!

Fabulous place - there were surfers, IMG_0720and jellyfish, IMG_0698and mountains topped with cloudsIMG_0692, and even a motorized para-sail thingyIMG_0723 - there were dogs all over the place just having a ball, and no signs anywhere suggesting they shouldn't be there (here in Burlington, our little beach is laden with anti-dog signs, which people largely ignore).

So I dipped my feet in - it was FREEZING!!! - which I think brings my ocean total to 4? Atlantic (Hilton Head), Pacific (here), Caribbean (Mexico) and Mediterranean (Greece) - I know, I know, only 2 are actually oceans... indulge me...

The trip home on Sunday took a little longer than expected - found out in Vancouver that the flight to Toronto had been delayed by 2 hours, which was annoying but out of my control, so I plugged in my ipod, took out my knitting and passed the time quite contentedly. I saw some more mountains at the airportIMG_0727, and realized when I got on the plane that I'd made quite a bit of progress on my Vesper sock, which had been my mindless knitting since leaving for PortlandIMG_0726.

I believe we landed around 3:30AM, and learned from the shuttle driver on the way to my van that the power was out all over because of a humungous lightning storm - which explained the flight delay - so trying to make my way out of the parking lot with no lights, and paying a girl who was working cash with a flashlight made it all even more surreal than it normally would have been at 4:15AM.

All well worth the experience, though, I'd do it again in a shot...

Can you say Sock Summit the Second???

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is it possible to have a knitting hangover?

Why, yes. Yes it is. And all it took was 4 days of Sock Summiting to prove it.

Since Thursday, I have:
* learned fabulous techniques with Cat Bordhi and Cookie A;
* been thoroughly entertained while learning more about sock yarns with Clara Parkes (honestly, if the knitting thing doesn't work out for her, she could be a stand-up comedienne);
* watched Stephanie and Tina, organizers par excellence, go from laughter to tears and back again while describing the birthing process of this incredible baby;
* watched young people becoming enthralled with an ancient art;
* barely avoided being trampled upon by the tsunami of knitters running into the Marketplace for the initial opening;
* shopped a little (really - I was so restrained I was almost worried about myself);
* been part of an historic (well, I think so) attempt (oh, come on, we're pretty sure we did it) to break the previous Guiness World Record for most people knitting simaltaneously (old record = 256, our number = almost 1,000);
* sat ONE TABLE AWAY from Barbara Walker, Meg Swansen, Anna Zilboorg, Nancy Bush, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts at the Opening Reception;
* learned that even the elite can be star-struck, as Cat Bordhi gushed excitedly in our class about sitting next to Barbara Walker at dinner and actually talking with her;

and just so much other stuff it'll have to follow in another post. After getting home at 5am today, and being rudely awakened by a telemarketing call at 8am (gotta love the Don't Call List, works like a charm...), I am hovering at the edge of incoherence.

But I'll be back with more...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ready... I think

Well, my bags are packed, yarn is wound, homework is done... I feel like my head is going to explode every time I check the Sock Summit group on Ravelry, so I'll stop looking...

after what promises to be a long day of travelling tomorrow (starting when I get up around 3:30AM - I am in denial), I will be spending the next 4 days in the company of thousands of like-minded folk, learning about socks, knitting socks, buying sock-related things in Portland, Oregon - never been out west before, am SO excited...

It'll be so nice to play for a while -

pictures and stories, possibly ad naseum, upon my return - catch y'all next week!