Friday, December 30, 2005

Don't trifle with me!

The hubster made an awesome dessert for Christmas. It's a caramelized-pear sabayon cream trifle. Basically it involved caramelized pears, champagne, cream, and pound cake. Yummmmmy!

Knitting HELL

This year, I thought I would earn daughter-in-law brownie points, and knit my mother-in-law a nice scarf. So I ordered this hand-dyed qiviut blend from a store in Whitehorse called Folknits
I had never knit lace before, but I thought, what the the heck, it will be a learning experience.

Er, no. It was KNITTING HELL! Quite apart from the fact that I made four billion mistakes (mostly all corrected), I had almost finished the scarf when I realized I had missed a knit row, so that the pattern was on the wrong side for half the scarf! Oh my GOD.

I unpicked the whole thing and re-knit that sucker in ten days. I finished it December 23 and was amazed at myself.

Never again!

The yarn is 45% qiviut, 45% wool and 10% silk. Qiviut is made from muskox fur and is about eight times warmer than wool, and incredibly soft. It was LOVERLY to work with. Too bad I had such a hard time with the pattern!

I learned some valuable lessons from this nightmare, I mean, project. They are:

-Do not knit a lace scarf after sundown. You may think your eyes are 16, but they are really 41.

-Do not knit a lace scarf when you are tired. If you are not alert enough to read, you are not alert enough to knit lace.

-Do not knit a lace scarf while allowing your attention to drift towards the rerun of Gilmore Girls on TV.

-Do not knit a lace scarf before you have had breakfast.

-If you are knitting a lace scarf, and have successfully completed a 12-row pattern, and your brain is telling you not to tempt fate by continuing to knit that day, LISTEN TO YOUR BRAIN!

-Do not knit a lace scarf when you are mad at your husband.

-Do not knit a lace scarf when your pets are irritating you by demanding constant attention.

-Knitting a lace scarf will cut ten years off your life. You've been warned.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas knitting

The latest in Christmas knitting, now mailed off. The bottom blue "fluffy" one is for my friend's daughter. It is Patons Pooch, in "Big Sky" or something like that. Her favourite colour is blue. This was simple to knit on two huge needles.

The other one is another Fleece Artist/Hand Maiden creation. It is silk and kid and something else I have forgotten and am too lazy to look up!

Alas, unlike some people, I do not have a lizard willing to model my scarves. If I draped one of these over my leopard gecko, she would surely smother!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tarantula Pants’ Christmas Campaign

Tarantula Pants’ sexy new Christmas Campaign!
Click on photo to enlarge

The Sty

Yesterday, my office was truly a sty. I mean, a dangerous sty. Things were falling off my desk!

It was a sty because I was:

1) knitting a pink shawl
2) hooking a goldfish rug
3) hooking a coffee cup rug thing
4) wrapping a birthday gift
5) wrapping Christmas gifts
6) looking through my knitting patterns
7) hemming the burlap on the coffee cup rug thing
8) ironing a lace cloth
9) working on some dude’s website
10) drinking tea
11) answering email
12) painting a Christmas gift
13) taking photos with the digital SLR
14) eating and dropping crumbs in my keyboard
15) researching kidney disease for my MIL
16 )marvelling at the weenie inch of snow we got yesterday, which freaked out my fellow weenie British Columbians, who think you need chains to drive through an inch of snow. They wouldn’t last ten seconds in a Nova Scotia winter!

And cats rule my office, in particular, my table:

The cats pics are a bit fuzzy, sorry. Julius is the orange one and Zoë is the fat one. This all started a couple of months back when I made the mistake of putting that leopard-print cat bed on my table, under the desk lamp. Instant kitty tanning salon! That bed is constantly occupied by either Julius or Zoë.

God forbid they should have to, say, sleep on the floor!

Yesterday, Julius was in the leopard bed when Zoë jumped up on the table. Hissy fit, hissy fit, hissy fit! Very put-out fat cat. Orange cat didn't give a rat’s ass about pissed-off fat cat. I ran off to retrieve our new faux-sheepskin cat bed, and put it on the table. Zoë jumped in, the hissy-fit stopped, peace reigned once again.

I am running out of workspace on this table. However, you can see that I *did* manage to clean my office by the end of yesterday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bald Eagle Festival

This past Saturday, we took our little brother (who is hardly little, since he is 15 and taller than me now!) to the Bald Eagle Festival east of Mission. (Sidebar: we volunteer as a "Big Couple" for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it is a lot of fun.) Anyway! We didn't see a lot of eagles, but we saw a lot of dying, post-spawn salmon. I had never before seen the whole salmon run thing, except in grainy films shown during science class back in grade school. It was fascinating, if stinky (think of salmon in various stages of decay.)

Yep, they shuffled off this mortal coil quite a while ago!

So beautiful, yet the smell was so rank. Lots of birds dining on salmon, but no bald eagles.The various lumps in the water and on the beach in the forefront are dead and dying salmon. They were HUGE.

"The sex is done and we're ready to die!" They look ratty because they are weak and thus prone to various fungal infections and so on. Can anyone identify this salmon species? I am a salmon ignoramous (but I do know they are tasty!)

Swimming upstream at the Inch Creek Hatchery.Somebody back there still has some life left in him. At the Hatchery, we saw an 80-year-old sturgeon who was huge... at least six feet long!

Further upriver, this mature bald eagle swooped in and stole salmon from each of the juveniles on the left. The seagulls kept well back, but the crows were pretty bold about stepping up to the dinner plate.

"YOU get it back from him." "No, YOU get it back from him." "I think we're screwed, Bob. Don't you hate seniority?" The baldy first stole the salmon of one juvenile, then the salmon of the other. Just asserting himself, I suppose. :)

I think our little brother took this shot, with our new telephoto lens. We were on the other side of the rive, well back from this scene.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Grab bag

What do we have here? Well, we have Tara looking bored the other day before she went to the groomer. We have the Zoë, aka Blobzilla, sleeping on her cat bed on top of my desk. She is the only overweight pet in the house and we are having a helluva time getting her to lose any poundage! Zoë is addicted to this bed and gets upset if I don't have my desk lamp shining on it, making her all warm and toasty. Kitty tanning salon!

We have a Tiger rattlesnake devouring a kangaroo rat, a reference photo kindly supplied to me by my new friend, Roger Repp, herpetologist extraordinaire (and hilariously funny to boot!) He tracks Western Diamondback rattlesnakes in the Sonoran desert in Arizona. My other herp friend Kate and I are doing a children's book together, a story about a Western Diamondback named "Katie." I'm illustrating it and Roger has been really helpful to me with snake advice while Kate has been off in the Congolese jungle catching snakes way scarier than this one!

Make sure you check out the websites of my other herp friend, Melissa, in the links list on the left. She makes her iguana wear scarves. :)

And a complete non sequitur: we have me and my good friend Sarah celebrating the demise of stinking Jetsgo, which went bankrupt and screwed me out of a flight to Nova Scotia last September. But at least I got my money back through American Express, bless their little hearts!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hallowe'en shenanigans!

We had quite the groovy Hallowe'en last night. We had a visit from an alien, who was a VERY good knitter!

Zoë the cat helped with the goody bags, and Tara the dog was ready at the door to welcome any and all visitors.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Guess who's coming to dinner?

"Uh oh... now I'm 'possum toast!"

Opposums regularly visit our birdfeeders at night, and I happen to think they are very cute. Our dog Tara thinks they are fun to chase down the yard (but she is only interested in the chase! She doesn't get close enough to them to get bitten.) We have found a 'possum on our feeder several times, and every time he/she does the "FREEZE!" thing, sitting entirely motionless. It's not exactly playing dead, because how can you be dead if you're upright with your eyes wide open? (Okay, well, it works for George Bush. Oh wait, that's not dead, that's BRAIN DEAD!)

So Friday night, my hubby-bubby found 'possum on the feeder, and I decided it was about time to document the event. I felt bad about using flash photography in the pitch dark (I probably blinded the poor thing for a few minutes!), but dang, opossums are so cute. But then, we're speaking of the woman who would like a pet rat.

It was also raining when I took this, so we were all getting quite wet and I was doing my best to shield the camera from the downpour.

Learn more (yes, I keep trying to educate you people about the local wildlife, but I'm not sure if you're paying attention!):

Friday, October 28, 2005

Clint, unashamed to be a girly-man

My good friend Tarantula Pants has adopted Clint the Postal Poodle, a refugee from hurricane Katrina. Sadly, Tarantula Pants has been denying the fact that Clint is a gay cross-dresser, and proud of it! He desperately wants to be true to himself, and shouldn't we all? But Tarantula Pants, with her narrow mid-Western mind, steadfastly refuses to admit that her teeny little apricot poodle is anything but a manly man with balls of steel. She even named him after Clint Eastwood!

Clint can accept that name, although personally he would rather be known as Petunia Poodle. However, he can no longer contain his desire to dress in a pink tutu and twirl in circles. And so, I have allowed him space on my blog to be his own true self, the girly-man party-poodle he was always meant to be! You go, Clint!

PS Technically, Clint does not have balls of steel. In fact, he has no balls whatsoever. He is neutered, as all doggies (except those used by proper breeders, not backyard ones) should be. "Balls of steel" is a figure of speech. Perhaps "Weaponry Weenie" or "Thingie of Titanium" would be more apt.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Desk of a madwoman

As some of my friends (and my darling husband) will tell you , I am a bit of a neat freak. However, when I am being very productive creatively, my desk turns into a giant, uncharacteristic mess. I did clean up a bit last night because I kept losing my pencil sharpener underneath all the paper.

Here is my photographic essay on the Desk of a Madwoman (or creative genius, or something.) If you click on each photo, you'll get a larger version that will enable you to read the witty commentary.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Scarf baby

My friend's daughter accidentally left her doll, Baby Bape, at our house. I had a little bit of hand-dyed slub left over from my scarf project, so I decided that Baby Bape needed a nice scarf for those dark, wet nights of BC winter. I hope Malina likes it!

Our cat Zoë got up close and personal with Baby Bape too. Well, not of her own accord.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Nature moments

Our cat Julius loves to watch birds up close and personal-like at the window feeder in our kitchen. One day I left a box from the green grocer's on the counter and Julius, a bonafide box-lover, jumped right in. I think he figured he was well camouflaged.

This wee fellow is a Pacific tree frog. He was sitting on the water hyacinth in our garden pond last summer. These little guys have INCREDIBLY loud "ribets", and in fact make the ribet you hear used in cartoons and movie soundtracks etc. I had one going at it outside our family room window one day, and I honestly thought he was in the room! They're very small and very cute. Their colours can vary from green and grey to brown and black. Wan more info? Go to:

Friday, October 14, 2005

Nostril Art

Back in December 2003, my husband and I, our three cats, dog and gecko drove across Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia in our Mazda Protege 5 hatchback. Journey of a lifetime to be sure. And today it occurred to me that I must do a webpage for that trip, because I have some amusing photos. Anyway, when you are bored in a car, why not take a self-portrait of your nostrils? Fortunately mine aren't terribly hairy. I can't say that this is my most flattering self-portrait, however.

Knitting is also a good driving activity. Okay, well, NOT if you are the actual driver! As you can see, I managed some socks on the cross-Canada tour. We were somewhere in Northern Ontario when I took this shot. I loooove knitting socks. Socks are good therapy! I even knit a pair of socks when we travelled through Cambodia and Vietnam last year. At the Vietnam airport, I had a nice group of older Korean ladies watching me intently as I knit. Then they shared their candies with us. :)

PS: Yes, my feet are big. They are size ten. And they rarely have nail polish on them like they do in this picture!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Danger - caustic!

Someone sorely lacking a sense of humour recently called my own humour "caustic". I don't plan to change my humour anytime soon, so consider yourself warned by the photo on the left. If you fear "caustic" do not, I repeat, do NOT peruse this blog. Your eyeballs could liquify and the skin melt from your very bones. Your delicate, sensitive heart may cease to beat as you read my "caustic" blogations. Consider this your only warning.

If ya don't like me, fine. So go look at the Care Bears or or maybe My Pretty Pony or something Hey, my own mother used to say, "Sarcasm does not become you!" I was ten at the time. I don't expect to change anytime soon.

A friend of mine (thank God somebody likes me, eh?!) sent me this wonderful gem:

Some people are like Slinkies...
They're not really good for anything,
but they still bring a smile to your face when
you push them down a flight of stairs

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cats rule the world

Today's issue is about our three furry felines: Mashka and Zoë (our two lazy-ass old gals) and a lithe young orange thing named Julius (aka Mr. Fluffy or The Fluffinator or Captain Fluffalicious.) They are making me write about them. They have been complaining that the stinky dog gets more air time than they do. They said if they weren't featured in today's blog entry, they would set fire to our bed as we slept. Who knew that cats played with matches? How do you light a match without an opposable thumb?

Introducing Mashka and Zoë! Those are actually NOT cat beds they are lying on. They belong to a certain aged English Setter, who is regularly denied comfort by these two holy terrors.

“Piss the hell off, woman! Flash photography offends us!”

Evil, pure unadulterated evil.
We have given up trying to slim down Zoë. She is the only cat I know who gained weight on diet food. She has more toys than she knows what to do with, and I play with her regularly, but somehow the fat remains.

“Mmmmm mmmm good!”

This cat is NOT fat, believe it or not. He is intensely fluffy, but under that fur he is muscular and at a healthy weight. Truly!

Why is Julius licking his lips? Well, the other night we had a very nice roast chicken for dinner (from the farm around the corner that is BC SPCA-approved and treats its chickens humanely and gives them organic food.) There was enough roast chicken left over for sandwiches. Or so we thought, until we entered the kitchen and found Julius on the counter, chowing down on the remains, making hideous little crunching noises.

WARNING: The following may offend some vegetarians!

“The horror, the horror!”
Do you see enough meat for a sandwich on that? No, nor do I, unless you're into bone and cartilage panini or something. That's because the meat was all in Julius' belly. I wanted to get a picture of him devouring the carcass, but I wasn't quick enough, so I had to make do with a catless carcass shot. It looks pretty gross, really.

I grew that sprig of rosemary in my herb garden! I guess cats don't like rosemary. Next time I'll use catnip. Won't THAT be tasty for us humans?

“Get me more chicken, bitch!”

Julius has an unnatural attraction to these roses. I don't know what it's all about. The dining room table has become his new roosting spot, which strikes me as rather unsanitary. I do clean the table before we eat on it. His FAVOURITE spot is on top of my computer printer. One day he left skid marks on it, which was truly revolting.