Showing posts with label Birthdays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birthdays. Show all posts

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Couple of Cupcakes

Before I talk about knitting, I must tell you that last Saturday, I met up with a couple of cupcakes for a couple of cupcakes. If you know what I mean.

You don't? Ok. Let me show you.

This, my friends, is a cupcake from Susie's Shortbreads in Halifax.

Neapolitan Cupcake

Please note - I managed a modicum of restraint - I remembered to take a photo before pulling all the paper off and devouring it. That is a Neapolitan cupcake - real strawberries in that butter cream, people - REAL. It tasted BETTER than it looks.

You'll see in the background, in her isolation chamber, a Peppermint Patty cupcake. Avert your eyes, Patty, you don't want to see what will happen to your little friend!

Here we have a Strawberry Daiquiri cupcake. Isn't it pretty?

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcake

This is the lady who sacrificed that cupcake:

Cupcake #1

She is also known as the Cupcake Enabler. Don't be fooled by her innocent smile and obvious beauty... Her purpose in life is to lead you down the garden path. A garden path lined with ornate, scrumptious cupcakes, but down it, nonetheless, she will lead you and although it may seem good at first, a thousand calories later, you'll be groaning on the chesterfield, waiting for the sugar rush to pass.

This is the other hapless cupcake eater:

Cupcake #2

The divine Ms RM - she dressed for the occasion - polka dot scarf matching her lovely orange cardigan, extravagant jewelry involving rickrack - all with the usual RM flair

It was an impromptu afternoon out - to celebrate some birthdays and a chance to see some friends I hadn't seen in ages.

if only every gathering of friends included cupcakes, I'm sure the world would be a better place.

If you would like to visit Susie's Shortbreads, here's her website. She not only makes Shortbread (as her name implies), but she also makes cakes as well. We saw one of them before it headed off to a bridal shower. It looked divine.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I Am A Crazed Maniac (and I married one too)

Alrighty then. I've been meaning to take some photos for this blog to fill you in on knitting progress, but well, there hasn't been any. Have a seat and I'll fill you in on the week.

I've spent this entire week preparing for the arrival of my Extreme Garden Shed Building Team. My dad, my step-mom, and their dear, dear friends, EH and CH, arrived this afternoon to build a garden shed for our back yard.

I am beyond the moon elated about this. Dad and CH had built a play house for my step-sister's kids last summer. They used the playhouse as a model and pre-cut all the lumber for my garden shed and even went so far as to build the roof trusses. They are maniacs! They arrived at 1:30pm and by 9:15pm the shed has a floor and four walls!!! I heart my dad. I heart CH.

Anyhoo, knowing that they would be here this week I spent every evening after work getting ready. I have:
Organized the yarn stash in the new desk. (Oh My GOSH, I love this organized yarn stash thing. My inner anal-retentive self is clicking her heels with joy).
Vacuumed, mopped and cleaned every surface in our house.
Turned the 2nd spare room back into a spare room.
Had several panic attacks about the location of the shed in our back yard.
Kept well ahead of the laundry.
Removed all evidence of a slovenly lifestyle, with the exception of the cds which I can see peeking out from under the TV stand - whoops.
Not gone to bed before 12:30am any night this week.


Is it any wonder that I fell asleep on the couch just before they arrived this afternoon?

The men started in on the shed immediately and I ran of with the women.

I took the ladies to Tangled Skeins this afternoon just before it closed. I had told my step-mom that I would knit sweaters for the girls for Christmas this year if she bought the yarn. She thought it was a good idea. Luckily, she makes decisions quickly (we had 1/2 an hour before it closed) and now I'm making two of the little Bolero jackets (Molly) from Debbie Bliss Junior Knits... and Kerry, if you're reading this - you know nothing about it! Shush.

After supper I went to the mall with the ladies (where we had a blast at Lush - my step-mom thought the fresh facial stuff looked like crack fill - which it kinda is, if you think about it). Ang, while I'm thinking about it, what is the name of the perfume you buy from them? You do get one from them, right? 'cause I thought I smelled it and then I wasn't sure... is it Karma?

Tomorrow the fun will the gals stops as I fully intend to be out there hammering nails with the rest of the gang.

Anyhooooooo... so now it is, let's see 12:36am and what am I still doing up?

Making birthday cake. Chocolate Blackout Cake from the Complete Canadian Living Cookbook (I think that's what it's called). I'm just waiting for it to cool enough to wrap it up for the night.

Who is the cake for? None other than the love of my life! Andrew's b-day is tomorrow. He turns 36!!! It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating his 28th birthday at his parents' house. That was the first time we celebrated his b-day together. It was the same day as my University convocation. Sigh.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! What better way to spend your birthday than to be hammering away at a garden shed all day with your father-in-law? At the very least we'll let you sleep in tomorrow... but if you do, you might miss out on the French Toast Raphael. Yum, yum.

The cake should be cool now.
Good night everyone!

Friday, May 13, 2005


My dad turns 65 on Saturday. He is refusing to celebrate this birthday as he seems to be having an age crisis. Regardless it is his birthday. A very thoughtful man for whom I once worked, told us about this thing he does for his daughters whenever they have a birthday. He writes them a list of the things he has learned from them... and the number of items on his list corresponds with their age. I think this is a pretty cool premise - and even did this for my dear friend, RJS when she turned 30.

Again, my dad is 65. It took me a while. My dad has no idea that I have this blog, probably a good thing, I'm not sure. But I'm not ruining the surprise.

(I apologize to those of you who are here for the knitting. Yarn and other bits of yarn-related happy will return next week. Maybe. Next week is bound to be busy too. For those Haligonians in my readship - TANGLED SKEINS IS HOLDING AN ANNIVERSARY SALE NEXT WEEK, MAY 15-21. GET YOURSELVES OVER THERE AND TELL SHERYL THAT STEPHANIE SENT YOU. Ahem. If you haven't already been there - this is a good opportunity to get hooked on the good stuff while it is cheap. If you have been there, well, go and hug Sheryl and tell her how happy you are to have her supplying your drug of choice - wool, wool-silk blend, cotton, whatever. Yarn buyers of Nova Scotia, UNITE!)


In honour of your birthday (or un-birthday, whichever you prefer), I’ve compiled a list of 65 things I have learned from you. I guess it shows that I have been paying attention all along. Some things are light hearted, some are more serious. Thank you, Dad... for being such a great teacher.

1. Don’t act your age.
2. If you carry the peppermints, you won’t be left behind.
3. Even if the deer are eating your manicured shrubs, they are beautiful.
4. Shrews must eat constantly and it hurts like heck when they bite.
5. Don’t forget to check your oil.
6. Sometimes, you should plunge right into the stream.
7. Other times, it is best to take a moment to determine if the stream has become a river.
8. Whoever invented peanut butter was a bloody genius and deserves our respect and admiration.
9. 32 mph = 50 km/hr
10. Steering while sitting next to the driver is a good skill to have.
11. It takes a lot longer to stop a moving vehicle than you might think. Drive carefully.
12. A 1969 Buick with a 454 engine will burn an entire tank of gas in a week even though you only drive to school and back.
13. Aim is important when “taking out” ice chunks in a river.
14. Even more important, is making sure that your child’s boyfriend knows about that aim.
15. Uncle Buck. Enough said.
16. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer - is this is why Scott and Dwayne were allowed to use the garage?
17. If you’re going to dress in drag, be classy. It also doesn’t hurt to resemble Margaret Thatcher.
18. It’s not tuna fish, it’s “dirty old tuna fish”.
19. A parent will always find out if you do something stupid.
20. If your parent’s car is damaged when a truck backs into it while it is parked on the main street of your small town, your parent will know about it before you have left the store you are in.
21. Only an “Asshole” would back the aforementioned truck into that car.
22. Someone has to stay sober.
23. You aren’t too old to try new sports, like water-skiing.
24. It’s not Syd, it’s Dad, even on the telephone paging system.
25. It’s ok to make a hundred.
26. Oranges taste best when eaten while taking a break on cross country skis.
27. Fourteen is not too young to drive a truck through town.
28. When flipping bullfrogs, the key is to be very quiet while you slip your paddle under him.
29. Keep paddling, even if your shoulders hurt.
30. When someone tells you to get back into the canoe, GET BACK INTO THE CANOE.
31. The river is be shorter when you travel in a straight line.
32. Do not, under any circumstances, kick your partner under the table if they say, “Kick me if you have the Ace of Spades.”
33. The 401 is not for the faint of heart.
34. It is not “fun giant Barbie pool time” when the basement floods. It is panic and curse time.
35. Saying goodbye to a tree is like saying goodbye to an old friend and it’s ok to shed a tear or two.
36. If you’re going to use a slingshot on a squirrel, have the humanity to have good aim and the good fortune to have an audience. (with apologies to the animal rights activists in the group - this happened a long time ago).
37. A winch is a wonderful, miraculous thing.
38. Whenever you are able, stop and help a woman to change her flat tire.
39. Sometimes heroes wear half glasses and a tie.
40. If you’re going to tell a story, for Heaven’s sake, make sure you get all of the names right, no matter how long it takes to remember them.
50. Make sure your passenger is sitting down and holding on before you hit the gas on your skidoo.
51. National Geographic Explorer is NOT a boring show.
52. If your child mispronounces a word while she is learning to read, make sure that you bring it up again and again throughout her life.
53. It is sometimes worth the misery of an allergy attack to see something beautiful.
54. If something strikes you funny, really funny - don’t be afraid to laugh until you cry. (I’ve got a rash from makin’ in the bushes.)
55. When you’re on vacation - buy a stupid-looking hat and wear it proudly.
56. Stoke the fire before you go to bed. Your bunkmates may complain about the heat at first, but they’ll be reminiscing about it when they can see their breath in the morning.
57. Wear sun block and sit in the shade.
58. Chocolate is an under-valued 5th food group.
59. Act tough, but don’t be afraid to let your real feelings show.
60. Always keep your son-in-law guessing.
61. Watch out for moose.
62. Check your oil.
63. If your name isn’t on it, it’s not your fault (well, maybe not).
64. Call your kid by her nickname, even when she’s a grownup, ‘cause she still likes hearing it.
65. Carry the kid up the hill, they’re only little once.

Here’s to next year and 66 things.
With love,

Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off tomorrow morning to see my dad.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Yesterday was my grandfather's 91st birthday.

Please excuse me while I think out loud.

This photo was taken in 1977, I do believe. If I'm right then this was taken the year that my grandfather's leg was amputated after an accident at the scrap metal yard where he worked. Yikes. Sounds scary, eh? It was pretty scary, from what my parents told me. That being said, however, my grandfather is one of three amputees in our family (two legs, one arm), so despite the fact that it was a horrible accident, he knew that it wasn't the end of the world. This all happened at the edge of my memory, so while I was alive before the accident, I don't remember him before then. I do, however, have a vague memory of crawling up on the hospital bed beside him and snuggling in for a hug.

My grandfather loved us, the grandchildren, very much and he didn't want us to be afraid of his artificial leg so he made up a game for us: He would give us a rubber mallet, point to the artificial leg and let us have a whack at it. It was great fun and a good joke for company. We also used to get up early when he and my grandmother stayed the night so that we could "try on" his leg before he got out of bed. A child's leg, bent all the way, will fit into an adult's artificial leg (artificial is the word we grew up with, sorry if it's offensive). Also, a bent arm will fit into a prosthetic arm - the arm is a better trick because you look like an orangutan on one side! My friends are often horrified by this story, but we grew up with this being normal so we never thought it was odd.

I was absolutely certain, at the age of 5, that my grandfather was part bionic, like the 6 Million Dollar Man. In fact, I think I told my cousins from the other side of the family that very thing at barbecue that summer.

Our family has a really sick sense of humour about amputation as a result of having three amputees in the family... There are jokes about things costing an arm and a leg. There are stories of mishaps with my great-uncle's first prosthetic arm and the removable hand that had a poorly placed release button (somewhere out there, is a lady who picked up that hand from the floor of a darkened movie theatre and screamed in horror). As children whenever we hurt ourselves, my parents would say, "Lemme see that, are we going to have to amputate?" and as it seemed like a real threat, we often took stock of the situation and decided tears weren't necessary.

My grandfather was 63 when the accident happened. I don't think he really slowed down all that much. He always put in a garden and has the most amazing green thumb. He has mowed his lawn on his own for years (his mower is equipped with bicycle tires on the handles that make it more stable). My grandmother caught him on the roof of their house after the ice storm in 1998 - he was sitting up there scooping ice off the roof. He was 83 years old at the time!!!

This, however, is the first year that he won't be able to do all that. Despite the longevity in our family (my great grandfather lived to be 103), my grandfather has aged rapidly over the past 3 years. He's developed mild case of dementia, and his "good" leg has worn out from these past 28 years of not really using his artificial one properly. (When my dad's cousin, who is a surgical nurse, heard that the doctors were considering a knee replacement she said, "But if it doesn't heal properly, he won't have a leg to stand on!" Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.)

All kidding aside, my grandfather's health has reached the point where he will have to go into a nursing home. He has fallen a few times and my grandmother is unable to lift him up. My father and his sisters are helping my grandmother in the process of getting him into a home. It's strange to see my grandfather, who I once believed to be impervious to anything (he is bionic, after all), growing frail.

In the photo, we were boating on the lake where our summer cottage is. My grandfather, always one to make the kids laugh with little jokes, picked the waterlilly and tucked it in his glasses. I remember (yes, I really can) laughing at how silly he looked with the flower covering one eye. And I remember the flowers that he gave to me and how they were cold and wet, but very pretty.

My grandfather was and is a woodsman, a farmer, a man who traded horses when there were horses and cars when he drove cars, a man who is very wise about things that most people don't realize are very important, a man who proudly grows gooseberries and rhubarb and raspberries, a man who wanted only for his children to get an education, a man who should not be left alone with nothing to do because he'll refinish the kitchen table whether it needs it or not, a man who feeds all birds without discrimination (even seagulls),a man who patiently taught all of his grandchildren how to play Cribbage and then soundly Skunked each and every one of us, a man who let us use his leatherworking tools to make whatever we wanted, a man who spent winters in wood camps hooking rugs in the long evenings, a man who did the best he could for his family his entire life, a man with hands that show how hard he worked, a man who I will always admire.

Happy Birthday, Gramps. Love ya!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Just Some of The Reasons Why I Love Angela Bright

I have some great friends. Some of them live close by, like JAK, some of them live a little farther away, like RJS... a little farther, like Les... others just live too far. That would be Angela. This entry is all about Angela.

We met when we were going to Dal. She was playing some music in her room that I knew, so I stopped by. That's when I noticed a poster on her wall of a musician that we both admired (I will not reveal the music nor the musician on the poster because that might reveal our geek-like tendencies). I thought she was cool because she was smart, funny and she was in Costume Studies - a course which I had no idea was in the curriculum at Dal. I have no idea why she thought I was cool *now would be the time to let me know if I have any coolness at all - I know I was a dork back then, but what about now?*

We both went through some crappy stuff with our families in the two years that she was at Dal. I think we bonded over our messed up worlds and the Chinese chicken at "Le Bistro" on South Park Street.

Anyway, over the years, she has proven to be an amazing friend. During our school years we wrote gobs of letters back and forth to each other. She's always been the kind of friend that I can pick up with where we left off the last time. When she was here last year teaching at our alma matter, we had a great time hanging out.

Here are some of the reasons I think she is great (not necessarily in order of importance:

17. We started knitting at the same time.
16. She has made it impossible for me to buy lemons without singing "Lem-oh-ohn. She wore Lemon..."
15. She once demonstrated one of Monty Python's Funny Walks on one of the busiest streets in town.
14. She tried to teach me to sew.
13. She's got Luc.
12. We have a standing agreement that birthday and Christmas gifts can be months late.
11. When we bought a dozen donuts at Tim Horton's one night, she was as confident as I was that we could eat them all in one sitting.
10. She is more sarcastic than me.
9. She brought Minou into our lives just when we needed her (my husband and I were getting over the loss of our schnauzer, Bentley).
8. She has expanded my musical horizons - she bought a Cole Porter compilation tape for me one year... then she sent me a mixed tape with Moist, Bjork and any number of obscure artists on it.
7. She was my date at my friend's wedding outside of Montreal, and despite not having her driver's license at the time, was the best darn navigator I've ever had in the car with me.
6. She gave me a new appreciation the Montreal Bagel.
5. She wore my husband's bandshirt to their show and acted like all the people who weren't wearing them were uncool.
4. She taught me to do the Charleston in the middle of campus in the middle of the night.
3. She has started crying every time we say goodbye when she was moving on to another city, another coast, another school or another job.
2. She designed and made my wedding dress.
1. She made these for my birthday this year:

Yup. A needle case. Like the one in the back of St!tch and B!tch. What's that you say? Why yes, yes it is the logo for my website. Thanks for noticing!

Here's a closer look:

All done with fabric from Ikea. And some help from Minou.

Now, Angela, stop being so sappy. Grab a tissue and blow your nose. Someday soon I'll have enough $$$ to fly to the other coast for a visit.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Knitting Photos: 0

So, the knitting photos - again the boy has run off with the camera, so I can't show you what I've completed, but I can tell you:

1. scarf made with the red yarn sent by Kat of Pinku - I used a pattern I found on the net. It's reversible.

2. Shining Star hat - using Kate Gilbert's pattern - I used a deep coral (?) pink yarn that I got in the bargain bin at my LYS. It's from Custom Woolen Mills. If I knit the pattern again I think I would use something more "refined" to really show off the pattern. The CWM yarn seems "rough" or "rustic" next to other yarns I've used.

3. Two baby hats - Now these I probably won't be able to show you a photo of for quite some time. I didn't get to take a photo of them before I gave them to my friend who is expecting TWINS!

I made both hats from Debbie Bliss Cotton DK using the rolled brim pattern. I tweaked the pattern by knitting it in the round (I hated the thought of a seam on a little noggin'), made a knotted top and added a striped portion (2RCC, 1RMC, 4RCC,1RMC, 2RCC - does that make sense?) . The hats are in two different shades of blue with cream stripes. Hopefully the boys will model the hats for their mommy when they are fully baked.

My pregnant friend is shorter than me (I'm only 5' 1 and 1/4") and her belly protrudes like nothing I've seen before - well, nothing I've seen on a woman before. I've seen beer guts that would rival a quintuplet pregnancy. I digress... I've seen lots of pregnant bellies, but never, uh, exposed ones. The friend, we'll call her Meg, pulled her shirt over her belly to show us how funny it looks - her belly button is completely inside out! Ow, Ow, OW! Can you tell I don't have kids? I'm worried more about how her belly button feels than how it would feel to pop a cannonball out of a pea-shooter. Yeesh. FYI: She's getting a c-section. She calls her belly her "Third boob." hee hee.

Moving on!

I got a ride home today with my coworker/partner in knitting-related crime. She asked if I was thinking about my birthday yet. It dawned on me that our birthdays are not very far off. Her b-day is four days before mine. In fact, she is precisely four days older than me... and we were both born in New Brunswick. Last year, on the big three-oh day for her, she hid out. She didn't come to work, she didn't want a party, nothin', zip, nada!

I on the other hand wanted to do SOMETHING! Andrew and I went out with her, her husband, and Minou's Mommy and Daddy. My b-day is the day before Valentine's Day, so we were able to hit the CHOCOLATE BUFFET at a rather posh restaurant in town. We didn't even order a meal, we just totally pigged out on the buffet. I think our waiter was rather disappointed. I, on the other hand, was THRILLED! An entire buffet dedicated to my favorite food group! It was divine. Especially the CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN! Who knew such a wonderful thing could exist out side of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? They peeled me off the buffet before I was able to get my mouth under the stream of the chocolate fountain. Drat, foiled again!

(That buffet led to me ordering a chocolate fountain for an event with the students my company woos each year. They asked if they could have a chocolate fountain in every store. I must agree that this seems like a good thing to incorporate into a contract. It would be a good way to improve employee satisfaction and retention.)

So, this year... what do I want for my birthday? Well, my partner in knitting related crime actually WANTS to acknowledge her b-day this year and I want to hide under the covers. I've even told my dear pal, RJS to stay home, there will be no festivities. I don't know why I feel this way. Perhaps it's the wrinkles that I saw on my forehead this morning. Sigh.

BTW: Is it strange/sad that all I want for my birthday is a ball winder and swift?

'scuze me. I've got to go slather some sort of acid on my forehead in an attempt to get it back to the smooth alabaster it once was. bwah ha ha ha ha ha...