wooly stuff


October might have just as well been renamed Crazy Crafting Month around here…so many thing in the works…the beeswax candles, needle felted hot pads, Elena’s knitted prayer shawl, my Christmas knitting (and now hers, too), charitable knitting, and even waxed cloth.


Of course, it continued into November, and is still.  The Christmas market is not until the 22nd of November, and that is good.  All the candles that I wanted to make are done, thanks to a spectacularly brilliant set up that Chadd made for me.  Two chunks of wood, and a long dowel, and I was suddenly able to make four candles at one pour.  It was a completely wonderful production moment, and once I realized the setting times for each candle, we were fairly flying.

There is just the clean-up left on the second batch of candles; trimming the wicks and melting down the excess on the bottoms, and cleaning up the seam marks on some of the tree candles.  The prices have been debated time and time again, with many, many people, and the final market prices have been set.  I am very much looking forward to the Market, but Elena will be taking care of sales at her table on the second floor, while I volunteer at the Christmas café downstairs.

I’ve been doing a very good job at Not Procrastinating, and I’m extremely proud of myself.  (I’m so proud, I’d pat myself on the back if I could.  You have no idea of my procrastination abilities.)  November 11th was declared “cut-off” day…anything not done after that day simply wasn’t going to Market.  All the hot pads had to be needle felted by that day.  The blanket stitch around the edges is scheduled for this Sunday after church.  There isn’t that many of them; only a dozen, so that should be completed in good time.  We made lady-bugs and caterpillars and apples and flowers, rain drops and mushrooms and an owl.  All very pretty.  I hope they sell well, but if not, I actually need hot pads in my kitchen!

I spent part of last week working on a Sunday church service.  Our minister is on study leave for one week, and even though I don’t cover any services during summer, I usually don’t mind being asked a couple times a year.  This service came together easily, and I am very happy with it.

The Christmas trees arrived at work yesterday, one load, and we had to take them off the semi-truck.  Heavy, exhausting work that has left me very sore today, with a large, broken blood vessel in my palm.  Tricky, having that in my left hand.  Thankfully, it does not interfere with typing or knitting.  Or bread-making; two large loaves of roasted garlic and rosemary.  What a nice Saturday, and a lovely end to the week!

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I sent out “Poison Ivy” trick-or-treating tonight.


Elaborate make up seems to be her costume of choice this year. For her dress-up day at school, she went as a gothic “Raggedy Anne” doll. Big eyelashes painted on her cheeks, red cheeks and lots of freckles. She was adorable, including the black dress, tights and shoes.

Next year will probably be her last year out. We’ve had some really great costumes over the years; its been a great excuse to be creative, as much as I stressed about them. I’ll have to start thinking about next year!

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weekending with pumpkins


This weekend was one of the busiest, yet so relaxing and enjoyable at the same time. It was so full of activities for each and all of us. Saturday saw us hosting a Halloween party for Elena, complete with a scavenger hunt and pumpkin carving. Sonja did an amazing job with hair and makeup for Elena to be Poison Ivy from Batman. Then, we went to see the local AHL hockey team play, (and lose) from the vantage point of box seats. It was a great game anyway. Sonja then turned herself into a bottle of ketchup to go to an early Halloween party hosted by her friend. Sunday was brunch at the Scandinavian Centre, a trip to the yarn store, a walk with the dogs, a spray paint project, and a fundraising concert performed by a talented group of local singers. Elena went to the movies with her friend, Chadd went to the movies with his, and Sonja did a honey and vinegar hair wrap before working on homework that had a ton of calculations in it.

Thank goodness for Monday, when I get to Get A Grip on the rest of the week before we move into November. Which will be full of candles and crafting.

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bestest buds


Today the dogs are snuggling side by side on the living room rug; it’s raining, I’m home, and this is their usual nap time because the house is usually empty at this time of day.

There is absolutely nothing nicer than getting down in the floor to snuggle myself right in between their fuzzy warmth. On those mornings where Loki had got me up wayyyy earlier than summer sunrise, I’d pull out a few blankets and we’d make a nest right on the floor. And he’d snuggle in and give me a big sigh as he fell back asleep. Odin, on the other hand, is not a snuggler. He gives a very grouchy growl if you happen to try to cuddle. But if you cuddle and rub his belly, he will acquiesce. Grudgingly. But above all, no kisses. He hates kisses.

My Loki and my Odin; my sleepy companions this morning.

They were busy with me in the house and garden yesterday, though, just getting all the last of the last done before the rain today. Gladioli bulbs lifted, boxwood planted; dog beds washed and hung on the line. Pots sorted and put away, tomato cages stored. The honeynut squash that was hanging out in the garage got sorted as well, and the good ones stored in the basement. Which lead to a bit more organizing, and taking down the dried basil for crumbling. And they had to make sure they were on hand for everything, even if they were supervising from the comfort of the couch on the deck, with their eyes closed.

Quite a bit like today, actually.

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I went to a very muddy garden today to see about taking off the last of the beets for a few more jars of pickled beets, only to find a few beet tops strewn about, and missing (of course) the beets. I did find deer tracks, so I know the culprit isn’t human.

So I came back home and made another batch of apple jelly. This time, with rum and spices from St. Lucia. I had no idea you could play around with jam that way, but now I do.

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wait, there’s more



I said I was going to have a bit more time on my hands, as the work schedule went down to part-time, and this was how I spent my Monday. I am beyond happy to have a bit of wiggle room in the schedule.

With that bit of free time, and a Christmas market on the horizon for November, I’m happy that I feel like “making” again, and I got going on some apples I had been given. More than nine jars of a beautiful, pale amber jelly, and Sonja asked to take a couple jars to her boyfriend’s house for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow may be beet pickles…

The Christmas market will be candles, which will commence shortly; sad that the only knitting I did all summer was a pair of socks…but the garden was so good! I could (and did) make a list of the bounty preserved. (Such a good feeling. Now to attack the kale!)

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There are Emily Carr roses still blooming as my gooseberry bush starts to change to its fall colour; the false sunflower and the coneflower are in their season, and even though the calendar tells me that it just turned to fall, we have been doing our transition into the season for a few weeks now.

The end of September means that I have almost two weeks (and 8 days off work) to get the rest of the produce off the garden and cleaned up. My head is so into that deadline that I’m making myself nervous, but that always happens this time of year. The butternut squash are coming along just great, but the honeynut have to turn bright orange before they can be harvested. Not sure I have enough time, because only a few have started that transition. One row of carrots is still in the ground, and a few beets yet. The beets will be made into pickles, because I only got three small jars from the batch I made two weeks ago. And on it goes, really, but we did take the last of the cantaloupe off (7!) and they have been just delicious.

Sonja has been doing her best to work hard with the new schedule of university classes and professors. She was unlucky enough to catch a cold the first week, so has been sneezing her way through the tissue boxes. We also spent some time with more scholarship applications, and job applications. And she’s been using her new computer, trying to streamline use for studying and lectures; and occasionally translating English to French and back again. So many changes for her, the least of which has been her bicycle commute.

Elena has been getting back into her usual routine, starting improv again, and even having time for a short-term babysitting job. She’s doing good, even though she has caught Sonja’s cold.

And I am still cycling my way to and from work; only one more week until I switch to a part-time schedule. I am looking forward to a bit more “free” time.

September has been lovely, and October is one week away!

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