I’m good, how are you

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I’ve had a solid two weeks of nice stuff happening. It’s a little alarming, a little unexpected, but…nice.

I could almost do a bullet list of all the nice stuff, for example:

*****The grade 8 grad dress that we bought for Elena. It’s the sweetest little black satin number, in the style of Audrey Hepburn. A fitted bodice, with a skirt with box pleats that bells out at the bottom ever so slightly, thanks to the double layers of burgundy satin lining, and hidden strip of crinoline. It suits her so well; Sonja helped her pick it out, and it came with detatchable straps that will be stitched into place for the big day. I’m so very happy that we found something that fit my little “stick,” and she is very happy, too. Cross that off the list, but remember to make the hair appointment! (Yes, things have changed since I graduated from junior high. Well.)

*****New blue jeans that fit. I know.

*****Finishing the tax prep for the accountant. I hate doing this so much, every year. I have nightmares about losing reciepts and getting numbers mixed up and all sorts of awful. This year, I was worried because it was harder to stay organized, what with building the house and moving and all. But I amazed myself, finding all the proper paperwork in the proper places. I did so good!

*****And now I’m going to reward myself with a sewing machine!

*****The dog was sick, but it was just kennel cough. That cough…I thought I could tough it out, wait it out for him to get better, but our last basset had a cough that ended up being lung cancer, so you can see how relieved I am that he is all better now.

*****A fabulous card party night that we didn’t have to host! The whole purpose of our card party night back in February, was to teach Chadd and I how to play whist, so that when the church hosts the annual Card Party night, we could go without having to sit in a corner, watching everyone else have fun. And Chadd got top score for the men. Typical…teach that boy anything once, and he’ll beat you forever.

*****My lovely red ladder that sits on the landing, beautiful and useful.

*****An article that I read about a new pilot program for more effective daycare programming in Winnipeg. The study showed that children are having a great deal more difficulty with self control and mental health, and that the first six years of life and the skills that a child lears during that time frame is essential to success later in life. The study is introducing a more language oriented programming that focuses on the child, and is a smaller group base that mimics a mother and child family setting. More reading, more verbal feedback from the child, more interactive social consequences and life skills. The program is also teaching parents how to pay more attention to their children in an effective and positive way. I’m patting myself on the back for staying home with my girls, but I am so extremely saddened by the understanding that so many children did not have what I consider normal in the first six years of life. (Down from the soapbox, now.)

*****My awesome, awesome job. I love going off to work in the greenhouse, getting sweaty and covered in mud and sprayed with water from the hoses. I love taking care of the plants, and I love working part time for a company that understands (still) that my kids and family unit need me (still) as Elena so easily demonstrated on Sunday night, handing me a notice from the school about the badminton tournament that was starting at 4:00 pm on Tuesday. And that all students had to arrange their own transportation to the event. Tell me, what would I do without my wonderful, fun and flexible job?

*****Knitting is going well. Stash running low. Need more yarn. Stat.

*****Finding the warranty for my Royal Copenhagen cup that got broken (by me) while cleaning up the kitchen. Royal Copenhagen gives a 24 month warranty against breakage on all their pottery from the date of purchase. I can’t believe I broke the cup, but I can’t believe I found the warranty. All I have to do is take a picture of the breakage, and they will send the replacement. I was so upset…it’s almost insulting to break something while you’re cleaning…and now I feel so relieved. I love my Royal Copenhagen mugs!

*****The upstairs blinds will be installed Tuesday or Wednesday! I’ll be able to take a shower without worrying that my makeshift curtain (of muslin taped to the windowsill with painters tape) won’t fall down!

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I’ve got the windows open

Anyone who has been living around these parts knows that the winter has been a harsh one. It’s been a learning experience, having the coldest winter since 1898 be our first one in the new house. But, I think we’ve weathered it alright.

There are standards for a new house; one of them being triple pane windows. They are great for keeping out the cold and the noise. The extra sunshine from the south windows had been such a blessing all winter.

But it’s been strangely quiet in the house too. I realized that when I opened the kitchen window, I was letting I the cool, fresh air, but also the sounds of the city. I was feeling a little quiet, a little alone; but hearing the birds calling back and forth, hearing the muted highway traffic and all the outdoorsy city noise was a sweet relief. Silence, I think, is part of the stillness of winter. Lovely in its own way. This year, it was even too cold for the birds. But now, now I’ve got the windows open!

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sleeping in

Sometimes Sundays are delectable, right from the get go. The lovely morning walk with the dog was so hopefully spring. Still below freezing right then, but the sun was warm and the breeze not brisk. There were sidewalks for walking (and not always an obstacle course of ice, water and snow; sometimes there was even a clear stretch!) and the dog was in his glory. Dirty, wet and following every spring-like lead (read: blade of grass and clod of dirt) that he could find. Bliss, it was.

There has been so much knitting recently, and I am so happy about that, too. Chadd gave me the idea to knit my sister-in-law’s Icelandic sweater while standing at the kitchen table. The colourwork portion is almost done, and the knitting was made easier by resting the bulk of the sweater on the table. This one is made with Àlafosslopi as opposed to the Lett Lopi that I usually use, and is so much heavier! I love the feel of the colourwork knitted up, and can’t wait until it’s time for blocking. I’m using 7mm needles for the yoke portion, and those are such big needles compared to the 3.25 mm that I am using for Walpole (Brooklyn Tweed pattern). The smaller needles are so much easier on the hands, that I feel like I am almost knitting with air. But of course, the speed of the bigger needles is pretty impressive.

I’m nervous about the finishing; I’m putting two patterns together to be able to get the sweater that I want, and of course I’m worried about the neck shaping, and the zipper, because the main pattern was supposed to have a snap band (press studs instead of buttons) and I like zippers better.

The dog is happy that Sonja is home, but he hasn’t been sleeping through the night these past few nights. I’m a bit tired, but sleeping in this morning was such bliss. He’s still a happy camper during the day, of course. Especially when he’s been given an empty toilet roll to demolish.

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she knows me pretty well

Tell my daughter I miss her? This is what shows up in my iPad messages…

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love this dog

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Here he is, looking for some cuddling.

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Here he is, looking for Chadd out the window by the front door.

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And here he is, looking for food.

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where I’m not

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She is sending me pictures of tulips, of t-shirt weather, of the abbey Mont St. Michel, of Converse runners with the British flag design.

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we celebrated with Belgian beer last night

After a two hour long-distance chat with my little brother yesterday, I went off in search of Belgian dark beer. Among other things, I learned that Bruges is one of the most beautiful towns, and known for their mussels. And that the monks make the best, most potent, dark beer in the world. When he moves back to Canada sometime this year, I wanted to know what we’d have to offer him in the way of refreshment that might help with the homesickness.

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And…success!

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