Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sixteen!

Sixteen years ago I became a mother for the first time. I had no idea what I was doing, but I think I've done an okay job. Owen is a smart and wonderfully kind young man. I'm so proud to be his mother.

Me and my Owen

And he loves his mommy! :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

FO - Xmas Towels

I've successfully complete my Xmas knitting for the season. All I have to do now is box and wrap it all up. I knit up a total of five sets, but have already gifted one. These will be for my uncle, mom, sister and aunt.

Aunt

Uncle

Sister

Mom
The set I knit for my uncle is the first ones I did. Somehow I mis-read the pattern and the toppers are a little big, but hey, live and learn. Overall I'm really happy with how they turned out. I will be knitting some for myself for in the trailer.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday Felines

How exciting, it's Friday and December 1st all rolled into one! I used the real camera to take pictures of the cats. Cecil was very interested in what was happening.

What are you doing mom?


Ezra is enjoying the new cat tree.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Progress

I've been making some good progress on Ethan's log cabin blanket. I'm about half way done block three. 


So far so good. I think it's going to look great. :)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ethan's Log Cabin

It has been a long time since I knit a blanket for Ethan, but he has been asking me for a BIG blanket since I finished knitting Owen's blanket back in 2015. Though I didn't think it was that long ago ... wow. Anyway, I was sort of waiting on Ethan to decide what colours he wants his bedroom to be before diving into a blanket for him, and at last he has decided. One wall (maybe two) will be a bright green - chartreuse - colour and the others grey (the same grey as Owen's bedroom - yay leftovers).

I had originally intended to use the same pattern for Ethan's blanket as used in Owen's, but, as I was searching for the Ballband Dishcloth pattern in the Mason*Dixon Knitting book I came across the Moderne Log Cabin blanket pattern and thought "ah ha, this would be great!" I showed it to Ethan and he was sold. We collaborated on the order the colours would go in and modified the pattern ever so slightly and then I cast on.

It's a lot of garter stitch. Good thing I love him.

The Blueprints

Good ol' Patons Decor.

Blocks #1 (multi) and #2.
I'm using Patons Decor yarn, because, in my opinion, there isn't a better yarn for blankets for a boy that is rough and tumble. It's washable, durable, has great drape and is warm. Perfect. I think by the end of this I'll use around 20 balls of it. That's a lot of yarn.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

FO - Juke Box Cowl

I know you're shocked. Another finished knit. I'm shocked too. It's a cowl for Lily. She picked the yarn (Wandering Cat Yarns, of course!). The colourway is Juke Box.



Now onto some xmas knitting. :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

FO - Tagg

Friends of ours announced several months ago they were expecting (I think I may have posted about this, but I can't remember and frankly I'm too lazy to go back and look) a child together. They both have older daughters from previous relationships, but together they are expecting a boy.

I started knitting items for their little bundle when I found out they were pregnant, but for some reason this little sweater got set aside with one sleeve to go. I couldn't find the motivation to finish it ...

... until this morning when I read the Facebook post "It's baby day!" from my friend.

Motivation Activated!!

Tagg
I haven't heard anything since that first Facebook post, so I'm hopeful everything is going well and their little boy will be joining the real world very soon. :)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Number One

Happy 1st Birthday Cecil!! We didn't think he'd make it, but we certainly are delighted he did!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Run Dates

It has been a long time since Jenny (my best runner friend) and I have had a run date with each other. Life got busy and complicated and something had to give. Unfortunately it was the run dates. Now, however, life seems to be settling back into a better routine - KNOCK WOOD - and we have been able to start with our weekly run dates today.

I forgot to get a run date selfie, so this is going to have to suffice. It was my first run since early March. Not too shabby, though I am willing to bet I'll be a little sore tomorrow (and the next day) until my body gets back into the swing of things.


We've already planned our date for next week! I can't wait! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Nineteen!

Nineteen years ago today Michael and I vowed to love, honour and cherish one another until death do us part, through the good times and the bad times. We have had so much love and laughter, the good times are plentiful and wonderful. We have also been tested harshly by the bad times: finances, arguments, sicknesses ... but we have always come through the other side stronger than before. 


Michael is my rock. My best friend. I cannot imagine going through any moment of life without him.


Here's to another nineteen (and more!) years of living life, the good, the bad, the ugly, with this amazing, crazy and passionate guy. xoxo

Friday, October 20, 2017

Feline Fridays

Oh to be a cat and have all the time in the world for napping.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Erv

As you know we are an RVing kind of family. We have been towing trailers since we bought our first 1978 pop-up in August 2009 (actually it was Ethan's 2nd birthday). It was an old smelly little pop-up trailer with patches in the canvass (some we put in and some that were there when we bought it). I think we paid $250 for it. It was a fun little trailer. She was aptly named Patches.

Soon, however, our family outgrew it and we needed something with a little more room and a little easier to set up, so we sold Patches to another family looking to try out trailer camping. In August 2011 (actually, coincidentally, it was Ethan's 4th birthday) we bought a 1998 Coleman Casa Grande pop up trailer. This one had a tonne more space due to having a slide out dinette. Michael named her CC, as in "Canvas Castle" because of her size over Patches. Eventually as the children matured (especially having a daughter who wanted more privacy) we sold CC in October 2013.

We knew we were no going to go with another pop-up trailer. We knew we wanted something with even less set up when arriving to camp. We knew we wanted a bathroom in the next trailer. We knew we had to go to a hard-sided travel trailer. In May of 2014 we bought our very first travel trailer. She was a 1982 Prowler. Ugly, but loveable. I painted the ugly old wallpaper a lovely bright green (the rest of the inside was wood panelling) and made bright green curtains to match. Our family loves the Robin Williams movie RV so the kids decided to name her the Big Rolling Turd. (Seriously, if you haven't seen the movie already, DO IT, and if you have, DO IT AGAIN!). We enjoyed BRT for three and a half seasons, but her time was numbered. Even though we put new tires and a new axle on she wasn't as road worthy as we'd like. The dry rot was starting to show and we knew, although we loved her she wasn't going to be our forever trailer. On October 15, 2017 we sold her to a guy with a dog who towed her to a little local trailer park where she will spend her retirement. She'll probably live another 10 years just sitting in a trailer park. It was the towing and constant jostling due to bumpy roads that was going to cause her early demise.

Big Rolling Turd

That brings is to present day. Well, actually, it happened the same day as BRT left the building, sort of. On Thursday October 12th Michael and I were browsing kijiji as we often do, looking at trailers and dreaming about which one we would buy if we won the lottery. He found an ad for a 30' trailer with bunks (a must) at a reasonable price. It was a little longer than we wanted (we were looking for around 27'). Michael messaged the guy for some more details (year, model, etc.) so he could do some research. I was NOT at any way, shape or form for getting a new trailer at this juncture in time. I was actually against it and voiced my opinion loudly.

Michael persisted and made an appointment to go view the trailer on the following Saturday morning while I was at work. Saturday my phone was going NUTS. Michael sending me pictures and texts telling me how amazing this trailer was, and that it was actually a 27' box and 30' from tongue to bumper, which was great, because we could still fit it in our driveway. 

He told me he and the guy had negotiated the price WAY down to what we wanted to pay because the guy would rather drop his price and give it to a nice family than sell it to just anyone for his full asking (and he had other offers that were higher than ours). Michael gave him a deposit. He spent much of his day texting me to convince me it was the way to go. If we sold BRT the difference would be next to nothing for a trailer that would be safe for towing and better for our family ...

Sunday morning we got up bright and early and made our way back to Dunnville so I could have a look at the trailer and give my final okay. It was BEAUTIFUL. They owned it 13 years and had taken such good care of it. So I said 'okay' and paid the guy the remaining balance.

After a couple of hiccups with the tongue jack and a leaky valve stem on one of the tires, Michael successfully and strategically backed it out of the tight spot it was in. Before we pulled away the guy shook our hands and THANKED US for being the ones to buy it. He explained again how he and his wife were happy it was going to have a family making memories in it, like his did for 13 years (his sons were 5 and 2 when they purchased this trailer) and was on the verge of tears. We got in and he took a picture for his wife and we were off. 

We headed to the nearest Canadian Tire to get the valve stem replaced. Lo and behold who showed up? Trailer guy. Any other person and I would have thought him to be stalkerish, but he felt bad about the valve stem and wanted to buy us lunch. We had already bought and eaten lunch so we said our good-byes again and off he went. Well, five minutes later he walked up to me, shoved $25 into my hand and said "that's for your lunch." When I tried to protest he insisted even harder, so I thanked him, he wished us well and he left (again).

The travel home went well, though the winds were high. The trailer pulled nicely though. Much nicer than the Big Rolling Turd.

This time *I* named the trailer. I took another moment from the movie RV and I named the trailer Erv.

Erv

On our way back we got a phone call from someone wanting to buy BRT. We asked them to come back to the house around 2pm, when we'd be home. I was anxious because unless we sold BRT we literally did not have any place to park Erv. When we got home, we temporarily parked Erv on the side street (still attached to the truck). To make and even longer story short (because this post is long enough) we sold BRT for what we wanted and by 3:30pm we had Erv set up in the driveway in her place.

Dinette (with the place mats Valerie gave me)

Master Bedroom

The boys' bunkbeds

Owen and Ethan get the super cool bunk beds near the rear of the trailer. Michael and I, of course, get the master bedroom at the front of the trailer. Miss Lily gets the sofa. It's not as bad as it sounds. It pulls out into a double sized bed, so there will be lots of room for Lily and all three cats.

Dozer approves

We are doing our first camp-out in Erv this coming weekend. It's going to be great! Everyone is super excited about it. :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cecil's Fundraising

First: I don't know if any of you actually read my blog, I'd like to thank everyone (again) for your support and donations last month with Cecil's vet bill. We successfully raised a little over $600. Cecil is doing wonderfully and we are so happy to have him continue to be a part of our R5 family. 

Second: the financing Michael and I were waiting for (since early August) finally came through for us last week and we are able to breathe again. Breathing is nice. As a result we have decided to, in 2018, match and donate dollar for dollar, the $600+ raised for Cecil to one of our favourite cat rescues. 


We will forever be grateful for your kindness.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Feline Fridays

There has been a lot of focus on Cecil these last couple of weeks, so I'm dedicating this post to the little ladies of the house.

Ezra doing what Ezra does best. Snoozing in the cat tree. She is such a contented house panther (when she's not busy giving everyone attitude).

I tried to get a nice picture of Ruby, and tapped the back of my phone to get her attention pointed towards the camera, but she decided she needed to playfully grab my finger instead. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Writing Prompt

Writing prompt from Mama's Losin' It! -- 10 things you would do if you didn't have to work.


  1. Clean my house better. I used to be a stay-at-home-mom and even with three kids and a gaggle of pets my house was clean. People could come in at any time and I'd be okay with it because my house was tidy, aside from maybe a few kid toys. Now that I'm working full time my house is not nearly as clean and tidy as I'd like it to be. Right now there are baskets of unfolded laundry staring at me from across the room. If I didn't have to work they'd already be folded and put away.
  2. Exercise more. I have a whole new level of respect for working parents who actually find time to go for a run on a regular basis. 
  3. Bake. Like cookies, banana bread and more delicious shit like that.
  4. Volunteer at an animal shelter or the food bank. 
  5. Knit more. My knitting life consists of maybe an hour a week. I'm either too tired or too busy doing something else to do much knitting.
  6. Visit friends and family more often. Even with two days off a week I find it hard to make time to visit (or even call) people. On my days off I'm doing housework, renovation projects and spending time with my kids (and sometimes I spend the time doing nothing at all). I find it really difficult to muster any sort of energy to actually be social.
  7. Take more walks with my dogs. 
  8. A real struggle of working full time is making enough time with my husband. He leaves in the morning while I'm still in bed and gets home well after me on most days, except those in which I work until 9pm. When we are together it's dinner making, house cleaning, project doing, kid related. Alone time is unheard of. I've tried getting up at the same time as him in the mornings to spend more time together, but he is up at 5am and leaves at 5:30am. I just create chaos in his routine. I really should, even while I'm working, dedicate more time to him, and it's hard, but if I didn't work I would be able to make time more easily.
  9. Write more! Sort of ironic I'm getting back into these writing prompts now, but if I didn't have to work I could finally make time to write that novel I've been thinking about or do a few freelance writing gigs for fun.
  10. Take a vacation. My work routine does not mesh with a life of taking any sort of extended vacation. Yes I get two weeks of holidays a year, but those are usually spent taking time to see family and friends and getting caught up on household stuff that has been put off due to lack of time. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More of Cecil

Yesterday, 14 days after his surgery, Cecil had his post-op check up with Dr. Sarah. His stitches were removed, as was his cone of shame, and he was given the all clear. He is back to his normal playful self. He is more of a snuggle bug with me than he was before, but Valerie and I think it's because he knows who saved him. Yes, Michael and I made the decision to save him together, but I took him to all his appointments and took care of him the most after his surgery. I also cried on him the most, so I'm willing to wager we are bonded by tear salt. ;) Even as I am writing this he has himself tucked under my arm, propped up on my hip, with his paws stretched out to my hands on the keyboard ... and purring. Lots of lovely, noisy purring.

The first thing Cecil did yesterday when he got home was jump into a cardboard box the girls (Ezra and Ruby) have been playing in for a couple of days. The second thing he did was grab his favourite sponge ball and play. He played for over an hour straight, occasionally checking in with me to make sure I was still hanging around.


He was SUPER stinky from being confined to a crate for two weeks ... mostly because he's weird and chose to sleep in his litter box rather than in the comfortable basket of blankets I had provided him. After his hour or so of playing ball I scooped him up, plunked him in the kitchen sink, and with Michael's help, gave him a bath. He mostly just stood there and let me bathe him, but if Michael had not been there I'm sure he would have bolted a couple of times. Now he is soft, fluffy and doesn't smell like litter box, which makes cuddling with him so much more pleasant. :)

Sleepy and content

Handsome kitty.

I love his eyes and his pink pink nose. I think I will have them tattooed on me some time in the future, once his exponentially large vet bill is paid off. Eyes, nose and a couple little whiskers.

I spoke of knitting for xmas in my last post. I have decided that my main gift for most people will be Old School Hanging Towels. Who doesn't love those?!? I'll do up some dishcloths and fingerless mitts for some people too. Just easy and economical stuff this year.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cecil Vs. The Plastic He Ate

Last Friday, after his stay at the vet, two x-rays and two enemas, Cecil was discharged. He was eating small amounts and had not vomited since being admitted. After we got home he pooped! We were so excited and felt relieved we were out of the woods.

Saturday, while I was at work, he vomited a couple times, but was still interacting and interested in food, although not as much as normal. Sunday he was worse. He slept all day, did not eat, and vomited again. Monday I took him into the vet, where I had to decide if I wanted to euthanize an otherwise healthy 10 month old kitten or if I wanted to go ahead with exploratory surgery, which, if you're a pet parent, you know these things come with quite a price tag.

I called my husband and we decided to go ahead with the surgery.

After another two day and night stay at the vet yesterday after work I went to pick him up. He is eating and healthy and recovering well. We, and the team at our vet clinic, are very pleased with how well he is doing.

During the surgery they found that it wasn't the foam he had eaten that was causing the issue, but quite a large (compared to the size of Cecil's innards) piece of plastic. It had perforated a hole in his intestines. Thankfully they were successful in removing the plastic, as well as about an inch of his intestines, and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Cecil's home for the next 10 days

The plastic he ate. Toonie for size comparison.

There hasn't been much knitting going on, but I do have to get my butt into gear and get started on some xmas presents soon. 

I'll keep you posted. :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sterquilinus

Cecil is still at the vet. His one day visit has turned into a two day (over-nighter) visit. Today I'm praying to Sterquilinus - the Roman God of Poop in the hopes Cecil managed to do a poop all on his own over night so he can come home today.



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

All Plugged Up

Last Saturday Cecil ate the foam from the sofa slip cover (kind of like pool noodle, only smaller). Then he vomited it up. I thought it was all of it. Sunday he was fine and dandy. Monday he was throwing up his food, but acting normal. Tuesday he was slightly worse so I took him to the vet. They said "lets wait and see" because he was still eating and still a happy little kitty. This morning, not so much. Over 24 hours without a bowel movement (I'd wager closer to 48 hours), more vomit, and not interested in food whatsoever. So I whisked him off to the vet once again today.

The x-rays show he's all plugged up.

So he's there now, on pain meds, waiting to have an enema - I'm glad I don't have to be the one to do that - and hoping everything clears out so he won't need surgery.

Poor guy.




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pain in the ...

For a week now my throat has been sore, it's hard to swallow, I cannot open my mouth very wide at all. It started out small, a little scratchy, and I figured it was a cold. By Friday I had a fever, and Saturday was no better. Sunday morning I sucked it up and went to the Walk In Clinic figuring I had strep throat. They looked at me, took a swab to be sent off and gave me a dose of a super tough anti-inflammatory, telling me to "keep taking advil for the pain" and that they don't believe it is strep at all. The meds worked fantastic, the pain went away, and I thought "ooh, this is over." I hadn't slept more than 3 hours since last Tuesday, but finally Sunday night I got a good night's sleep.

It isn't over.

Last night while I was at work I could feel the pain creeping back in. I, again, googled my symptoms. Wisdom teeth. Damn. Infection. Damn damn,

I took some advil and headed off to bed around midnight. At 2:47am I woke up and I've been awake ever since. The pain is excruciating. I'm trying to get into my actual doctor today because I'm not trusting Dr. Google 100% and if it is my wisdom tooth I will then call the dentist, but in the meantime I need some better pain killers.

At least I've got Game of Thrones to keep me company. I just finished episode 1 of season 7. Onto the next. I've got at least 3 hours until my doctor's office opens.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

About Time

Right now I am writing this blog post on my very new (and so much faster) laptop. It's a chromebook, like my other one (which I permanently gave to Ethan), and I love it, I'm completely happy with my decision to not get another Windows (aka click and die) machine. Now, in theory, I will be able to get on here and post more frequently.

Friends of ours are pregnant with their 4th, but first together, child in October. She has a daughter in her 20s, he he has two daughters between 10 and 12. They are a beautiful blended family full of love. And now they're going to have a son together. Beautiful. Perfect. I couldn't be happier for them. <3

Of course I'm knitting up a storm. Today I finished a blanket for the little guy. The pattern is one of my own. I created it for my eldest nephew in 2009. The Lil' Squirt Baby Blanket.

Lil' Squirt Baby Blanket
I am almost finished a little sweater for the baby too. Hopefully I will be finished it by the weekend. :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

It has been awhile

It seems to be a trend for me. Start out the year full force with blogging and then forget. I really didn't forget. There'd be days where I'd want to blog, but after working and mothering and all that fun stuff I just didn't have time. Also Ethan's tablet broke so he has more than taken over my laptop (I'm using it now because he is pre-occupied elsewhere). Soon I will have a new laptop and he will be the proud owner of this one, but for now we "share" which means he mostly uses it.

In five days Michael will be off night shift and I'm more than thrilled. Life will HOPEFULLY get back to normal. Night shift is tough on the worker, yes, but it's also tough on the worker's family, especially since our weekends are staggered. He gets Saturday and Sunday off and I (mostly) get Sunday and Monday, though the odd week I have to work on a Monday.

Anyway ... cats!

Cecil and Ruby

Cecil and Ezra

From top left clockwise around: Ruby, Cecil and Ezra

Friday, April 28, 2017

Feline Fridays

Three kitties in a tree.

The boys

The hoard of cat toys I found under the china cabinet.

Adorable Cecil.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Feline Fridays

I have been crafting again. Not knitting, but crocheting, so while very different it's close enough of a cousin to keep my fingers happy. I'm making a few baby blankets for my stash. My mom has already claimed this one for a neighbour who is having a baby girl. It's very difficult to see in this photo because Cecil is doing his very best to keep it safe.


Here's a better shot of it. As of right now it's almost finished (this pic was taken a few days ago).


Ruby and Cecil have become great pals. They play together, they snuggle, they conspire and ... well ... like any decent big sister, she smushes him from time to time ... Don't worry though, he likes it.


Dozer and Ezra have been spending a lot of time snuggling lately. She likes him because he's happy to lay there for as long as she is. They're an ideal napping set.


But don't worry, Ruby and Cecil aren't the only kitties who get along well. Here's the trifecta enjoying a siesta on the dogs' bed.