Saturday, August 19, 2006

Summer Fun (and Frustration)

I've been a very naughty blogger of late - it's been well over a month since I posted here. In my defense, I'll say I was too busy trying to enjoy every possible minute of summer weather before it disappears for good. As today is cool and rainy, I guess I have no excuse but to get down to the job!

Some of the hilights of the last few weeks:

We went camping for a week at my dad's trailer up near Tobermory, ON. We had mostly great weather, with the exception of one day
of pouring rain. The boys had a great time kayaking with my dad (their first-ever kayaking experience!)

Lots of hanging out on the beach, swimming in the lake, and roasting marshmallows was done by all.

We also had a relaxing family day at Wild Waterworks. I wasn't sure if the boys would like the wave pool or if it would be a bit overwhelming for them. I needn't have worried! They were totally in their element and weren't a bit nervous at all (although I have to admit *I* was a bit nervous for them, since the pool was absolutely packed, and those waves are darn strong). Their favourite was the Tube Slides; special waterslides that you ride down on an inner tube.

We've also been trying to keep up with the veggie garden, although it's suffered in the last couple of weeks due to the extreme heat we had earlier this month (over 45 degrees Celsius with the humidex!)

Nathan's clutching the baseball-bat sized zucchini we came home to after our week away.

Yesterday, we went on our annual outing to African Lion Safari. We had a great time, as usual. Between the waterpark and the animal reserves, we can hardly go wrong (since two of the things our family loves most are water and animals.) The Birds of Prey show was really cool (did you know that Peregrine Falcons can reach speeds of 200 km/hr and are the fastest animals on Earth? Well, you do now!)

So, you can see we've been having a lot of good times. But there have also been some not-so-fun aspects of the last few weeks. We've been battling head lice (yes, eeeew) along with every other family on the street. This has necessitated an hour or two of daily head combing - I really will be happy not to see quite so much of my family's scalp sometime soon. To add insult to injury, the dog has fleas with an accompanying allergic dermatitis (we did have him on a flea medication, but obviously it didn't work) and is apparently underweight according to our vet. So he's now on antibiotics and a new flea medicine, along with a beefed-up diet. Yes, we get to purposely plump up the dog. As a final test of my sanity, I went into the bathroom last night and was just about to use the facilities when a mouse zipped out from behind the toilet and down the hall. I'd like to know exactly what my lazy old cats have been doing. Excuse me, isn't it their job to keep the place rodent free? I informed Jessie and Chloe I was going to have to confiscate their kitty kibble if they didn't shape up soon.

Lice, mice, and fleas - I bet we won't have too many would-be houseguests clamouring at our door anytime soon! We really are reasonably hygenic, I promise. Sometimes nature just seems to win the battle anyway.

I guess with all those goings on, that's how July evaporated and August is on its way to disappearing too. I have that rather melancholy feeling I always get in mid-to-late August when I can no longer deny that summer is drawing to a close. We still have one more big trip (camping in Balsam Lake for the week before Labour Day) so it's not like all our summer fun is done and over with yet. But I know it'll be fall soon. And even though there's lots to love about fall (my wedding anniversary, my kids' birthdays, the anticipated arrival of my friend Jenn's first baby, apple picking, and a hundred other good things) it still means winter (with its cold and dark ways) is not far off.

Ah well, time to get back to enjoying the little time I have left in Summerland.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I've really been consumed with my knitting projects lately, so I feel the need to make some sort of written record of all the projects I've got swirling around in my head. Now, just so you know, I'm not anywhere near the most talented, skilled, or creative knitter out there. I doubt, however, that you'll find anyone who enjoys it more than I do! So, here goes, all my dirty little knitting foibles revealed for all to see.On the needles these days: This section is a bit complicated by the fact that most of what I'm working on falls into the Top Secret (a.k.a. gift) category. Let's just say that a very close friend is expecting her firstborn in 2 1/2 months, and I'm also trying to get a jump start on Christmas gifts! I have a wee something waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for some grafting to be done and it's finito. Kitchener stitch intimidates the crap out of me so I've been procrastinating on this puppy forever and a day (ok, a few weeks...)-I have the first of a pair of socks about 1/2 way done (using Melanie Falick's Magic Spiral Tube Socks pattern from Kids Knitting) These socks are quick, fun and easy to knit, and are a very one-size-fits-all deal, perfect for when you're not too sure how big the recipients' feet are! Also, still need to finish a scarf for my poor old hubby (it was supposed to be his Christmas present last year - he got a box of yarn wrapped under the tree, and is still patiently waiting for the final product). He's not too worried that it's not done yet these days, what with the 48-degrees-Celsius-with-the-humidex weather we were having until very recently. Next up: Oh, Lord, I have far too much ambition for a knitter of my (not so great) speed and skill. Here are some of the projects I have planned once I get all that other stuff done:-Seed Stitch Beret and Scarf from Two-Stitch Knits in Knit Picks Elegance (alpaca/silk blend)-Einstein Coat from Sally Melville's The Knitting Experience: Book I in Knit Picks Sierra (wool/alpaca blend)-Not Your Standard Issue Sweatshirt from The Yarn Girl's Guide to Beyond the Basics in Knit Picks Main Line (cotton/merino blend)-a pair of dressy socks for myself using Knit Picks Palette (100% wool). Haven't picked out a pattern yet, but I have a few sock knitting books so it shouldn't be too much of a problem!Can you tell I went on a Knit Picks shopping spree?? And the best part is, all of those are going to be for little ol' *me*! I hardly ever knit for myself, so I figured it was darn well about time I gave myself a few treats.As if all that wasn't enough, I have recently unraveled three (yes, three) sweaters - one that I just didn't like anymore (in Paton's Beehive Shetland Chunky - kind of a turquoise green with a tweedy look to it), another that had all the pieces completed but that I'd never sewn up (and didn't like anymore) in some acrylic chunky yarn (yes, acrylic, I know, but I have a plan), and another that was my son's and was a very nice sweater (knitted by a friend) but had received fatal damage to one sleeve (I'm not sure at all what the yarn is, it's sport weight-ish and feels like a wool blend of some type). So I have a number of different ideas as to what to use all of these yarns for!To add insult to injury, I keep adding more ideas on almost a daily basis for "quick little gift projects that I can do in next to no time" ha ha ha and both of my boys want me to knit them a scarf since I'm making one for daddy. Oh, and hubby would like a nice knitted vest or two to wear with his dress shirts.Clearly, I'm as delusional as they come and will be up to my eyeballs in yarn for the rest of this year!