5 And A Beagle

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - sort of 

Riding back to Richmond along the dike at sunset. Self portrait... second from the right.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Fish & Chip Friday 

This past Friday, we went for a 10K bike ride along a trail that runs along the dikes between Richmond and Steveston. Through the years the kids have enjoyed watching the planes come and go from our starting point across from the airport and the reward is always fish and chips at the pier in Steveston. This year the oldest two decided to stay home, so we loaded up the bikes and went with #5 and her friend, Connor.

The Pier at Steveston

One the way back we stopped at this memorial.

Guarding the entrance to Steveston Harbour, the Fishermen's Memorial was erected about six years ago to honour those ships and crews from Steveston who perished at sea. The monument consists of a needle used in mending fishing nets set on a copper pedestal with artwork depicting scenes from a fisherman's life. It's surrounded by perimeter walls with the names of the crews and their ships inscribed in black marble. The names of two of my uncles are inscribed there. This is a link to the story of what happened just over 44 years ago. John Ivanich was the husband of my Aunt Mary whom I wrote about back in April, and Doug Hill was the husband of my Aunt Eva. Both were(are) my mom's sisters.

I was only just over 1 when this tragedy happened so I don't have any memory of my two uncles, but I've heard many stories through the years about each of them.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Recipe of the Month - August 

An easy recipe that makes a nice snack for back to school/back to work lunches.

Healthy Loaf

1 c. flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. skim milk
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. coconut (fine & unsweetened)
1 c. plain sunflower seeds
1 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1 c. dried apricots (chopped or whole)
1 tblsp. ground flax seed

Mix all indredients together in medium sized bowl, stir until moistened. Pour into ungreased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50 minutes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Backtack Revisited 

A few weeks ago, the wonderful ladies that organized Backtack posted a request for "angels" to help out in making another project for a few participants that unfortunately didn't receive a package the first time around. Well, I had so much fun the first time, I just had to take another stab at it.

I still have to pick up a set of needles for the case, some gold dubloons for the button pouch, and off it goes.

My mystery recipient likes black, red, pirates, and skeletons so I hope she likes what I came up with.

The needle pouch was very quick and easy. I made it with Galway wool along with a little bit of the yarn from #5's scarf.
Cast on 80 stitches (single strand) on 5mm needles and knit to a length of 30 inches.
Felt it, block it and cut to desired size.
Fold over a 7 to 8 inch flap, then blanket stitch around edges.
Stitch for 8 slots to hold needles.
I had an old drawer pull (hidden by the buttons in the photo)that I used to anchor the strap closure, added a buckle and voila.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

She's baaack... for another Random Tuesday 

(subtitled - who even knew she was gone?)

Yes, after a week off, I'm back and look what I found while away. Where was this picked up?
At a trendy little yarn shop? No.
At a mattress factory? No.
Perhaps at an island sheep farm? No.
Try the local hardware store. Yes, just what you would expect to pick up while browsing for nuts and bolts. There, begging to come home with me and join the alpaca that was brought home from Peru.

Tomorrow - knitting content. Yes, I have been knitting. A little secret something for a disappointed backtacker. Hopefully she'll be jolly when she receives her treasures.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Bags, bags, bags 

I finally finished the front of the Shapely T, now it's just a matter of sewing the front and back together then picking up stitches around the armhole and knitting the sleeves. (will she make it before summer is over??) It's been temporarily put on hold again so that I can whip up another backtack package. (No, Backtack II hasn't started up yet, but the sign-up has so if you're interested, quick go check it out.) It seems that a few of the participants from the first one hadn't received their goodies, so I, along with many others, volunteered to do up another. I'd forgotten how much fun creating something with the sewing machine is. To the dismay of some in this family, it has now got what seems like a semi-permanent spot in the dining room. The ripple effect is that my laundry room looks like a tornado went through and family members are frequently asking where certain items of clothing are.

Here's some of the bags I've made recently from a pattern I found on Red Current's blog. She has links to so many creative sights, this bag pattern came from this one. Kathreen is preparing goodies for the craft table at her kid's school fair. I have to wonder if she's given up on sleep as she is turning out so many wonderful things. She and her sewing machine are in overdrive. I suspect her's will be the envy of all craft stalls and if it weren't for the fact that it would require a few thousand dollars and an 18 hour flight, I'd sure love to check it out.

Well, it's off to spend a half hour of knitting (felted needle pouch) before the rest of the house wakes up.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

CD Swap 

I've received two CD's from the swap. The first arrived a few days ago from Amy. A great mix of tunes, most artists I hadn't heard of but my kids had. I'm wanting to mention a few specific songs I really liked, but I can't find the disc because my son's taken it on his camping trip.

The second disc just arrived today from Anita. A great mix of songs spanning Spring through Winter. Hearing Doris Day sing Que Sera, Sera reminded me of when I was a kid and it would be playing on my Dad's reel to reel. I really like the Indigo Girls-Southland in the Springtime.

Thanks to both of you. The music is great!

To my five recipients..... I'm sorry I'm late in posting them. I had my son make them up over a week ago, but when I received Amy's, he decided to make a few changes and he just gave me the finished product last night before he left for the rest of the week. They'll be going in the mail on Thursday. Promise!

Here's the 'reversible, re-usable' CD gift bags that I made to go along with them.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Not So Random Tuesday 

Happy 12th Birthday to #5.

I remember 12 years ago on Sunday, August 8th, feeling a little out of sorts as the 4 of us were at Mass. I felt quite strongly that I wasn't going to make it through the day without going into labour and all I could think of was how I was going to get the house stocked with food, how we could get the crib and changing table assembled and how we would get the bedrooms of #3 and #4 switched around so that #4 would be sharing the larger bedroom with the new baby. #5 was preparing to make her arrival 2 weeks early, so none of these details were taken care of as of that Sunday.

I can vividly recall doing a major grocery shop that afternoon and stopping every few minutes to ride out a contraction. Somehow everything got taken care of and off to the hospital we went later that night. #5 made her appearance into the world shortly after 4:00 am on August 9th.

Never short on smiles, (even now that she has braces), she has brought a lot of joy to our lives. As of course, have #3 and #4.

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Saturday with the Yarn Harlot 

On Saturday afternoon, #5 and I spent a couple of hours being entertained by none other than the Yarn Harlot, aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. There were about 75 crazy enthusiastic knitters, mostly women but a handful of brave men. Here is the requisite picture of her taking a picture of us taking a picture of her.

She was so entertaining and I enjoyed the afternoon. It's hard to explain to non-knitters what the appeal is though. I feel they look at you with a politely perplexed expression and rather than bluntly ask you why you spent an hour listening to someone talk ABOUT knitting, they just smile and politely change the subject.

Oh well, she'll be our little secret.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ivana from Coquitlam, whom I had previously corresponded with by e-mail.

And the not just crafty but also thrifty, Nadia.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Nonna Rosina 

Back in May I posted a picture of the cross stitch I had done for my husband's nonna (grandmother) in Italy. Here is a picture of Nonna Rosina wearing a shawl that I had made for her back in September.

Does this sweet woman look like she will soon be 95? I think, at 50 years her junior, I've got more - shall we say -- character lines on my face.

Up until 2 years ago, she was still fairly active and independent, but now she isn't able to walk and is pretty much confined to her bed. Nonna has lived an amazing life full of both joy and sorrow. She is still living in the same modest house in northern Italy that she moved into in 1929 as a 19 year old bride. The same house in which she gave birth to 9 babies, only 7 of them surviving infancy. The same house barely big enough for 4, where at times 9 lived sharing the space, on the lower level, with their farm animals. The same house where in 1958, 1962 and 1964 she bid farewell to 4 of her children as they left Italy for Canada. And the same house where in 1965, she laid her husband out in his finest clothes and prepared for his funeral mass.

Nonna Rosina has the love and caring of her 6 remaining children (1 passed away last year) as well as 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. And while they are a family not unlike any other in that they've had their share of differences through the years, I think they realize the blessing they have in Nonna, and she in them. In the end, what more can you ask for?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Random Tuesday 

Back in Europe again for this week's random photo. This was taken in downtown Cologne.

Ice cream anyone?

One of the fun memories of our few days in Cologne was having the most delicious ice cream. It was Danish ice cream served in a German city by an Irish lady.


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