Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Wheels on the Bus

Well, I lost the run that I had last year. In case you weren't around then, this was a nearly perfect run. I only had one school in the morning so I was back home in time to get Amanda to school and in the afternoon Kyle was home before Amanda and watched her for about an hour before I got home. As perfect as I could probably get.

I kind of knew that I was going to lose it though. Several runs had been cut and those drivers had the pick of the run of the least senior driver in their "zone". Being my rookie year it stood to reason that my run was at risk. I tried to convince Shelley that my run really wasn't all that great but no dice. So I have spent weeks wondering and pondering the kind of run that I might get and if I would have to find some other way to earn a buck. Amanda just isn't old enough to get up and off to school on her own yet and teachers frown on children showing up late every day so I have to make sure the run fits.

So, this run is one school - morning & night with a noon run as well. I won't have room for Amanda but I don't have to leave until 8:00AM so I can get her up & ready then she can be alone for a half an hour until the neighbours are ready to go and they will come and get her (they did this last year too so that's not new). If for some reason they don't go to school I will get home in time to take her myself. After school I will be home about 4:00 - an hour earlier than last year! AND ... this is a van run!!! Do you know how many drivers have to die before a van run comes up for grabs for someone as low on the seniority list as me? Let's just say that we are talking about a disaster - not just an unfortunate incident or woeful tragedy - at a company event. Thankfully this didn't happen, but you get the idea of what a remarkable happenstance this is.
So, I can :
1. Park at home. Cleaning off, starting and warming up a gasoline van is so much easier than a diesel bus.
2. Sleep in. Okay, 7:15AM is early compared to 10:00AM but it's way better than 5:45AM.
3. Relax. It's still work but 6 kids instead of 40+ kids - hell yeah, that's what I call relaxing.
4. Work less. Overall I'd say I'm putting in about 2 hours less per day. Yes, I'll not get paid quite as much but more sleeping/knitting time for me and all things considered, I'm more than happy with the way the scales are balancing.
5. Drive in town. 2 of the stops are just outside of town, but otherwise this is a town run. Winter driving on extreme rural roads are a thing of the past. Only my friend Ada is happier about this than I am!

I don't believe that any driver would ever say - out loud - that they are "more" of a driver because of the vehicle that they drive, but the sentiment is a subtle undercurrent. I still have to maintain a B licence and can go into a bus or short bus anytime - it's more of an unspoken thing among drivers. But I don't care - this is the perfect run and they will have to pry the keys for the van out of my cold, dead hands before I give it up. I will retire on this run. Unless of course the ever unpredictable School Board shoots me down, but I'll just take it year to year.

I am really pushing through Fiona's sweater. I'm going to block out the body tomorrow, so I'll try to take a picture that I can post. The linen is a bit hard on my hands but I'm getting better at remembering to use the bottles of hand cream that I've got all over the house. Then it's on to a scarf set for Elann out of a Kidsilk Haze type yarn. I don't think that it's on their site yet, but I'll let you know when I see it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The knitting? Coming along just great. Pictures? Sure, uhhhhh, errrrrr, ...

Hey! Is that a Very Funny Ad over there?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Can you keep a Secret?

TA-DA!!! Jenna's sweater is done and on it's way to Interweave! Pamela was very helpful and is now a little more knowledgeable in the ways knitting and books and knitting for knitting books.

I feel like we've really gotten to know each other quite well over the last little while and that I can trust you with this. I mean, I wouldn't share this with just any
one so this has to stay entre nous. I know it's not much, but it gives you an idea of the wonderful intricacies included Jenna's sweater. There are other cables in the sweater but if I showed them all my ass would be grass it would be a meal and not an appetizer.

Ummmm - what else has been going on? Amanda has been harassing Kyle & Justin to share their skateboards and show her how it's done so I caved (yeah, I'm a Sucka soft touch) and she has a board of her own. My Skater Girl.

I'm really looking forward to Amazing Race 10. My early favs are Vipul & Arti and Peter & Sarah. Sad to say, but I don't think that the Beauty Queens or the Cheerleaders are going to last. Tom & Terry?!? Are you kidding me? If they don't get called Tom & Jerry at least once ... And I don't know about you, but I really don't think that AR is the right place to "recapture the closeness" or "prove that we're meant to be together". But it makes for good tv,
SmileyCentral.comso who am I to question it?

I'm going to be working at The Store on the day of the Knitters Fair, so if you're in the area and want to say "hey" you know where to find me!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Thanks for all of the concern & well-wishes for Amanda. She is much improved and doing most everything that she did before (including the quick stair-stepping!) Her chest still aches a bit after several cartwheels, but this too shall pass.

- Getting less grey (do not tell me that you really thought that it was natural!), well for me anyway. (Why do I have so much grey? See above paragraph for exhibit A) For Amanda it's just part of being a girl. No crazy colours this time though.

- Elise, totally pleased with her sweater. No matter how much I like a sweater I can't rest easy until the customer gives the thumbs up.

- Where in the Bed is Cheeky Monkey? Could you ask for a more patient cat?

- Amanda took pictures today, too numerous to bore you with share them all with you. Here's Kyle's funny face & Amanda's fuzzy self-portrait.

- Danielle & Janelle. sigh. This is not the Promised Land. Here in the Reality World when you lie down with a lion you will get eaten.
Danielle, did you really think that Mike & Will would give up any kind of reward, especially when they knew that you would sacrifice everything on their behalf?
"If Erika doesn't go home I'll know that people close to me are lying to me." No shit Janelle. You're a good player, but the bleach damage is starting to show.
You two think that either of you is going to win? SmileyCentral.comSnakes on a Plane!!! I love SJ but the premise of this movie ... Anyway, I've just been itching to use that phrase in it's increasingly popular slang mode.

- Jenna's sweater is coming along fine. (And when I say 'fine' I mean "on schedule, not a worry in the world") Really Amy - have I every lied to you? I offer the below as proof. Jenna's sweater is challenging + the dealine qualifies it as difficult.
Your Birthdate: September 25

You excel at anything difficult or high tech.
In other words, you're a total (brilliant) geek.
It's difficult for you to find people worth spending time with.
Which is probably why you'll take over the world with your evil robots!

Your strength: Your unfailing logic

Your weakness: Loving machines more than people

Your power color: Tan

Your power symbol: Pi

Your power month: July

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Knitter Interrupted

Sorry if you're reading this twice. The first posting of this entry managed to shift my entire sidebar to the bottom of my blog. Wasn't me - didn't touch a thing!

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I think that Murphy has taken the position Devil's Advocate on my left

I don't know about other 9 year old girls but Amanda is in a constant state of motion - and never slow motion. Getting from one place to another involves skippity-hopping, trotting, cartwheeling and/or an all-out run. I think that she believes whatever is there will disappear if she has to walk. Kerwyn & I have spent 8.5 years warning her of impending disasters but these warnings fall on deaf out of range ears. Then about 8:30PM Thursday I hear a thunk-bump-whack combination followed by that all-encompassing silence (even BB paused for a second) that preceeds an implosion. Amanda managed to smack her chest into the banister on her impromptu trip down the stairs. By the time Kerwyn got home at 9:30 it was clear that she was in some very real pain; the kind of pain that required a medical opinion beyond what I have learned from ER, House & GH. I wasn't panicked, it didn't seem broken but she was definitely not faking it. Anything less than a trip to Emerg would raise some not nice questions about my parenting skills. This not being my 1st trip to emerg, I packed - several knitting projects, water, books and a heapin' helpin' of patience.
Oh, and if you think trying to explain convincingly to medical professionals how she managed to hit her chest on a fall down the stairs is easy ... especially since Amanda couldn't explain it very well to me and is suddenly struck dumb when a stranger talks to her.
I think they believed me and that CS will not be paying us a visit.
Amanda feeling the Pain

Nurse Deanna - Super Nice!

Taking the Medicine - Super Yuck!

Typical Emerg - hours and hours put in, nothing really wrong. The x-ray was cool - no, of course I forgot to take a picture of that!! Childrens' breastbones are largely cartilaginous with visible "growth plates". They look like finger bones. There was no obvious off-set between the sections so the nice Dr. recommend Advil & rest. Okay, I'm glad that I was right and there was no way to confirm it without the x-ray, but for crying out loud - 5 hours! Oh yeah, the phrase "now you know why you need to slow down" was heard frequently.

Friday was spent watching movies - the poor little thing (yes, it was her own fault but my tender motherly instincts can't just be over-written) hurt every time she twisted, turned, reached, sneezed, blew her nose or took a deep breath. And with the onset of The Allergies I had many occasions to feel annoyed with sad for her. Cheeky Monkey felt sad for her too and was happy to bask in her calmer presence.

Pam & I got our wires crossed SmileyCentral.comso I'll be getting my hair done on Monday. Oh well, Friday was a beautiful day for a drive. Kerwyn has taken Monday off so it will just be Amanda & I - Girls' Day!!

Knitting is getting done which makes up for makes me remember less clearly all of the interruptions.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Catching Up

Every feel like this? It happens to all of us. But cream rises to the top and I'm happy to say that I am still afloat.

After a giant, mind-blowing set back I have completed rnd 119 on Jenna's sweater. (And when I say "mind-blowing" I mean that smoke came out of my ears, my eyes watered and when I sneezed ... well those last 2 symptoms may be The Allergies starting up, but at the time I thought it was my mind actually blowing!) I'm telling you, this sweater is gorgeous! Not meaning to be a knit-tease, but you are going to want to get your hands on this book (No Sheep for You) if for no other project than this one. (I have no idea what the other projects are like, so this is a real out-on-a-limb statement - but I stand by it)

I swatched for a new sweater for Fiona - this one is for a yarn company so I'm not sure what in what format it will be available. An interesting pattern - I'm looking forward to really getting into it after I'm done Elise's sweater. Don't get all excited about the big picture or try to over-analyze the swatch - this is the wrong side!

Kerwyn arrived back home safely and spent the weekend un-jetlagging. I think that this 1 week stint was harder on him than the 2 week ones. He was just getting into the time change in China when it was time to come home and re-adjust. Kyle mowed & trimmed the lawn so Kerwyn really had the long weekend off.

If knitting goes the way that I have it planned I am going to take most of Friday off and get my hair done. My roots are nasty and the grey is tragically obvious. Hey, I'm allowed this vanity. It takes so long because I go down to my cousin Pam in Kitchener - about a 2.5 hour drive. We make a day of it and as I only go every 4-5 months it's not as bad as it

Thanks to Roxie for knowing the name of that pink stuff for kids (of all ages) to see how well they brushed. It's called dental discovery tablets/liquid.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Dr Danielle

Amanda was feeling nervous about seeing a new dentist. She really didn't want - those plastic things that you have to bite down on are just not meant for little mouths - and she had a small sore on her gum that she didn't want touched.

Danielle is very sweet and made Amanda feel right at home.
Well, as at home as you can get in a dental chair with whirring sounds all around you. But all's well that ends well and with no cavities it ended well indeed! Danielle had Amanda use this pink liquid that showed where plaque had been missed - very cool. Apparently you can buy this stuff at the drug store so I'm going to pick some up and hopefully it will help Amanda develope better brushing habits. Danielle also gave her a great flossing tool - Amanda was

I spent last night watching movies on Etienne with the kids and knitting by flashlight. The power was off for about 8 hours so fortunately all of the food is fine. The pilot light went off on the water heater. After a phone call to find out exactly where the pilot was so that I could light it and another call to set up a service call because I couldn't get it lit (the instructions are deceptively simple), then propositioning Caylie's dad ("You're a man - you could light my pilot!" Yeah, it only sounds suggestive after you say it out loud) I have hot water!!!

Kerwyn may be a bit late coming home - the weather in Hong Kong is frightful and the airport has been closed. Right now he's not sure when he'll get a flight out, but they've got the hotel & travel agent on the job so I'm sure that he'll come home safe & soon.

(I know, I've gone a little Smiley crazy, but I just love them!!!)

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

When the Goin' gets hot ...

The Hot get goin' to the beach. Actually, we went yesterday which was just as well as it was too hot today to go anywhere that was more than 5 minutes out of range of A/C. I love summer but I also love the little things that make knitting in the summer fun - a little A/C, a little tv and a little beverage.

So, back to yesterday. We took Justin. He lives beside us and is a friend to both Amanda & Kyle, depending on what's going on. He calls Amanda "Shorty" and she likes it. Here are some pictures of them having beach fun.

I love it when I can catch Kyle before he's aware of the camera.
Amanda is so p
hotogenic and so unselfconcious in front of the camera that I could take pictures of her all day.

There is nothing like a beach for People Watching. When you're sitting there knitting and keeping an eye on the water to make sure that the 3 heads belonging to your charges keep bobbing up, others don't give you much more than an amused cursory glance.

These 3 young men were quite obviously on the prowl. I watched them walking from a ways up the beach, strolling casually (carrying no towels, chairs or other encumbrances) laughing and casting about for, oh I don't know ... if I had to hazard a guess ... hotties? Lo and behold 3 yound ladies were just settling in a stones' throw away. The young men stopped, subtly checked them out and must have liked what they saw because they took off their shirts (there were some practiced flexes in this seemingly innocent move) and hit the waves.
The girls were much less obvious in there assessing or they didn't care for what they saw because they made no indication that they were interested.
I would have loved to see how this dance ended but it was getting late and we were getting ready to go.

I am really getting into a rythym with Jenna's sweater but it really wasn't beach knitting so I took Elise's sweater. I met with Joanne today and she was very pleased with her KidSilk Haze wrap. Speaking of Rowan, Julie has some preview pics of the latest Rowan Magazine on her blog. Again with the interesting layouts but I think that there are some great sweaters to be knit out of this one. Mr. Postman, bring me a Rowan. What do you think?