Monday, October 31, 2005
There are no kids coming around to get candy and show you their costumes if you live in our building. None of our friends have parties, so we're just old folks at home not really celebrating Halloween. G's work has a contest for carved pumpkins, so yesterday we got a pumpkin while we went to South Bayview street to the butcher (weekly trip these days) and while I was at work, he carved it. Here's a photo of it. I'm also including a thumbnail size photo of it which shows more of the kitchen (click to see more of the kitchen).
I hope he wins the contest at work.
The other bad thing is that I don't get to justify getting candy. If I was still at work
, I'd make sure to get a bunch, since it's sure that Jocelyn and I would get to enjoy them for a while (and everyone else who comes by too.) I hope she's got a good supply this year. In the meantime, I had to make do with eating some mini Aero
chocolate bars at work
. Someone brought them in as part of pot-luck. I haven't had an aero bar for years. It's like the coffee crisp, only available in Canada.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I've been knitting for a number of years now. My mom taught me how when I was maybe 12 and then I taught myself more than the knit and purl stitches she taught me about 6 years ago. I learned to cast on, bind off and do a number of increases and decreases. I've moved having trouble keeping stitches on the needle to knitting without looking at it (by feel). I've gone from panicking when I've made a mistake to feeling pretty confident that I can just about fix any mistake I've made. Moved from 'un-knitting' rows, to just pulling them apart and know that I can pick it all back up without twisting a stitch or dropping some more.
I've made three sweaters and countless accessories. And this past month I feel as if I've made the most progress in my knitting skills.
I've always cast on using the long tail method. that's what I've been taught and I have never moved on from there. It works for almost all the time and the only draw back is that if you've estimated the tail length you need, you had to rip it all and start again. Not great.
So, this month, I decided to learn the knit cast on. And now, I love it, so much easier to do. Don't know why I wasn't taught this first!
And this past week, while working on a simple knit pattern scarf, I decided it was time to teach myself continental knitting. I remember hearing it was faster and also easier on the hands and after two days or so of learning the knit stitch I have to agree, while it's very strange to do, my inexperienced knit was nearly as fast as my regular English method. I'm actually quite impressed! So, I'm looking forward to learning the purl stitch and going from there. I may never completely turn over to knitting continental, but having the option is great for when my hands need a little bit of a break and I think even if it speeds things up a little, it's well worth it.
I also thought perhaps that it's easier for left handed folks to learn too. I don't know if it's true.
As well, for me, it is a happy reminder that I feel that I am able to teach myself anything craft related.
And for my fellow knitters out there, if you haven't learned continental, I'd highly recommend it!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Almost stressful week
It's Thursday and I've been running around all week much more than usual. So, let me fill you in on what's been going on.
Last week I took my resume and decided it was time to drop them off for applying for seasonal Xmas work. I went to the mall across the street to see about which stores were looking for help. I dropped off my resume with Restoration Hardware and Chapters (bookstore). I was selective since I didn't want to drop off a lot of resume with stores that I wasn't interested in.I also knew I had an application to William Sonoma
which I was also interested in.
So, on Monday I went for my first group interview at Chapters
. It was a strange experience to do an interview with 5 or 6 other people. A new experience for me to be sure. Tuesday I went downtown to drop off the William Sonoma application and was told to come for a group interview on Wednesday morning.
I get a call then to see Restoration Hardware
today and a second Chapters interview. All this time I'm thinking about which store I'd like to work at more and who pays better etc. In the end, I had to go to the Chapters interview and let them know that I was no longer applying since Restoration Hardware hired me on the spot! HORRAY!!
! Yes, they have to check references but they liked me enough, so all the paperwork is done and I start my first shift on Sunday before official training since they are doing the change to Holiday stock on this Sunday. Looking forward to it. It's potluck night they said, and Gary suggested maybe baking something for me to bring in. That would be cool.
So, I'm still waiting to hear back from William Sonoma. I wanted to work more hours with them initially but the Restoration Hardware job pays more and is close to home. That's got to take some priority. We'll just have to see how things work out.
In the meantime, I'm very happy about the new job and the money for stash, it's going to be great!
And yes, it's just so strange to go from my previous salary to this one, but hey, while I will pick to work at the store that pays better, I'm not really in it for the money. I'm looking forward to the chance to work in the interior design area and to see what it's like to work a store like that. Should give in sight at the very least about if I might want to have a store like that one day!
Having been out most of all week, the housework is falling behind. It's interesting to have G make dinner most nights this week. I haven't done it once! I'll be good and make something tomorrow. Looking forward to working many hours for the next two months. I'm going to try to see about maybe wearing a pedometer at work to see how many steps I take.
But I guess this is just another step into a new career whatever that may be.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Accommodations for the Paris trip is booked but money has yet to exchange hands. But that should be in the next week. We should feel more confident about the whole thing soon. Then I'll go into more details about the place and include their web site. The location will be ideal. Basically a bridge and two streets from Notre Dame. Love it.
Today I went to the Alliance Francaise
North York location and took a placement test. Turns out I don't have to go back to the most basic class but pretty darn close. But that's okay with me. I was quite nervous talking to the lady who administered the test and I could use a lot more practise and relearning of all that I've forgotten.
So, I signed up for what they call session 104 and start going to class Monday and Wednesday for 6 weeks during hours of 7:30 to 9:30 pm starting next Wednesday. I think I would have liked a morning class, but for now, no morning classes for my session, so I'll take the evening one.
I went to the local bookstore Chapters
and picked up some elementary French learning books so that I could try to remind myself some of the French I've forgotten so that I'm hopefully not too far behind those who's taken all the sessions before me. I guess I'm just nervous I'm falling behind even before the class starts. However, I'm having some fun studying again and I'm looking forward to the classes. It's even easy for me to decide what tv shows on Monday and Wednesday I'm willing to not watch to go to class. I guess that's a good sign. We all know how much I love tv!
The school is the next subway stop away. I walked there and back today but won't be able to do it on a regular basis when I start class next week since it takes me 40 minutes to walk the distance. It'll be dark and really cold. It was cloudy and windy today in the 8 degree C weather and my ears were freezing. It was a strange mix of hot and cold at the same time walking back and forth. When it gets to much colder weather I'm so going to be taking the subway or bus that's for sure.
On my way back, I was thinking about how nice it would be to be more comfortable to speak on our holiday and how one day, I may be able to go to do an immersion in Paris.
Ultimate French Beginner - Intermediate
French Without the Fuss
The Restless Sleep
by Stacy Horn
Monday, October 17, 2005
Still need to be confirmed, but we just booked our holiday this year, instead of going to Seattle to visit G's brother, we are going to PARIS!!!!!
I'm so excited!!! Can't wait to plan plan plan!!
Happy Anniversary to Us
G and I celebrated our anniversary on Saturday. We went out to get massages and had a nice dinner at my favourite restaurant in Toronto: Mistura
. We had a fun and happy meal and I get left overs for lunch tomorrow! It's going to be great! (For Joc: G had a braised lamb ribs for appetizer, I had a lobster and crab bisque. For main, G had a rabbit dish, and I had macaroni Bolognese. We shared a Tiramisu for dessert.)
The weekend was truly jammed packed for the last couple of weeks. Last weekend was even a long weekend, but didn't much feel like one I think since we had to run around and do so much! Last weekend, my parents came over for thanksgiving, so of course, the round of cleaning and cooking. It was a little frantic. G had a wedding to go to as well. We also took advantage of IKEA coupons that our friends Lenore and Aaron gave us and went to buy accessories that we've been putting off.
This weekend, so much more of the same except it was a shorter weekend. We went to Ikea again, to use the second coupon that we had. Had to go do the round of cleaning, shopping and cooking as G's parents came over tonight for dinner.
Somewhere along the way this past two weekends, we also managed to go to home depot
to buy dimmer switches, pick up light bulbs for free
, hooks; pick up lighting from EQ3 and install all of them. Okay, some of the hooks are still not done, but I'm not rushing to get them done since we've accomplished so much.
As gifts for our anniversary, we went to William Ashley
and got dishes. They are on order from France currently and is about 3 more weeks before they come in. I can't wait. We picked a pattern that we really liked and got just the units that we wanted and are missing. Again, following through on the idea of just buying what we like and try to get to enjoy using them daily. As usual, the store suggested that we buy sets to save money, but given that we weren't that fond of the other pieces, why spend the money. We don't have the room for them and rather just use only what we like. So, yes, dishes are eclectic, but we don't care. I'm trusting that over time, all the sets will be used in such a way that it goes together since we like them all.
There is finally lighting in the living room
and I love it. Something about overhead lighting that I really can appreciate. So, while G's on business trip this weekend, I'll be attempting to set-up for photo shoot and get some 'after' shots of the apartment in it's current state. Still work in progress, but needs some interim shots anyway.
I must say, that I'm pleased that all the parents coming over for visits are done. Whew! I almost feel less stressed. But I have a feeling I'll still be going crazy cleaning house the next time they come over. Not like we live in a slovenly state all the time, but I guess I expect parents to be clean inspectors.
Menu for Thanksgiving dinner: (mom is vegetarian.)
- Haricot Verts
- Tuforkey (with chicken gravy which mom didn't use)
- Vegetable Lasanga
- sweet potato latkes
- Cheesecake made by mom
Menu for Oct. 16th dinner:
- Roasted chicken wrapped in bacon
- roasted root vegetables
- barley risotto
- haricot verts
- French pastries from store near the butcher on Bayview. Sadly scored lowed points with us, it was pretty presentation, but only okay in taste and poor in skill. (Yes, I admit, we are very picky about our desserts.)
Lessons from our dinners: We need to buy more forks!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
... And counting.
Weather is terrible and I'm feeling a little down, so don't seem to be able to do anything quite right. Tried to put together an ikea shelf and it's even broken. Terrible. Back to some real blog writing soon.
BTW, for anyone who's checking, I've hit 6 months of not working. And you know what, I'm not missing it still. So not surprising, and neither are the quiz results below.
Found this quiz on Debbie's blog
and while we're at it, here's another one:
|You Are Uptown|
You are classy, cultured, and well educated. You are an expert on the finer things in live.
Your city girl persona loves all of the opportunities a city offers. But only in the best neighborhoods.|
Monday, October 10, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving to Canadians!
Happy Turkey Day!
(or in the case of our house this year, Tofurkey Day.)
I get gravy either way and had an yearning for Seitan.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Happy but sad shopping
Yesterday I went for a haircut after months of putting it off. Went and got a cheap cut as a hair model for a cut at Vidal Sassoon
School on Avenue Road. The cut took forever and can be annoying at time since it is so slow, but it still looked nice and for less than $25, it's well worth it. We took the money we saved and went to Whole Foods
at Hazelton Lanes
in Yorkville area.
While I was happy to have a Whole Foods to pick up some of my well loved supply of Quinoa
, and organic fruits and vegetables that looked good. We finally found real Haricot Verts that we could buy! Thrilling.
I was sad to find no Seitan, or plain soy milk. So, some good, and some sad. I guess there are just some things I can't get in Toronto? There's one more health food shop to check out for the Seitan and after that, I'll have to give it up.
The best part I guess about the whole experience is that the butcher at the shop was a real butcher. Like I'm used to having. They know their meats and offer ideas and suggestions.
I've seriously been missing out on that. Yes, it's a little far to go for a good butcher but may be well worth it. We've got one down on Bayview called Whitehouse Meats
which seems good too. We'll have to try shopping there more before I can decide if they are up to par, but so far so good.
And the saddest part of trying to find a butcher is a conversation with G's mom on Monday where she was raving about a butcher at a shop she likes. And all her raves where just regular services that a butcher provides. I mentioned that it was great, and that a butcher is supposed to do all those things. She counters with the fact that it isn't true and no one does that. And it made me very sad to know that there are a generation of people between the small town living and good downtown stores (Toronto or New York), that live in regular suburbia that's never had a butcher, and don't know how great
Now, my mission is to find a fishmonger.
Meanwhile, we got yummy carrot cake cupcakes at the whole foods bakery and it's got me wanting to make some. I saw a recipe in the Domestic Goddess
book and I'm determined to make good carrot cake since I love carrot cake and too many people make it with things I don't like: raisins and nuts.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Tonight we went to Koolhaus
and saw the Jason Mraz
concert. I saw him last year at the Beacon Theatre
on the West side in NYC and it was one of the best concerts ever. He's a great performer and entertainer and I told myself I'd even travel to see another concert because he was so good. Not only did he write the songs on his CDs, he'll rewrite them for the performances. I love the improve singing and the skit like shows. The show at the Beacon was acoustic and was great.
This time, this concert was in promotion of the new CD, Mr. A-Z
. He played for nearly 2 hours and did two encores. Most of the performance was NOT acoustic and was quite loud. The sound at Koolhaus was a little lacking but I think the sound guy didn't do that great of a job. However, the performance covered favourites from the first CDs and about 80% of the new CD. He didn't play with the lyrics of songs as much as I would have wanted and the sound quality did take away some of the enjoyment of the performance. However, it was a great time and well worth it even though I stood for hours. I wasn't crazy though, we didn't show up when the doors open as I wasn't about to stand that long watching opening acts. I'm getting old for that. As it is, standing three hours did hurt my knees at the end of it. Will I do it again, yeah. It's still that good.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Domestic Goddess like
A load of laundry as I work on Osso Buco. G thinks it's the best dish I make. Ah... I feel better.
Been feeling rather down about cooking etc. since G has been getting all the praises about how wonderful his cooking is, and how he's a such a cook, and etc. etc. I've nothing anyone praises me for. Must prove I can also cook. I make my best dish. G likes it. I guess that's all I can get. After all, cooking is his thing, there's no competition. No point to try to convince anyone else that I can also cook. After all, even if I make something good, everyone will only be convinced that it's because I've been learning from him anyway. I do follow a good recipe and have watched food tv
Spent the last two hours (and a fair amount of time yesterday as well) organizing my file cabinet. File and get ride of papers galore. Shred a whole lot of papers to the point that I thought I smelled smoke from the shredder motor and had to give it a break in between while I file some more. Crazy.
Now, to further rest my hands, I'll try to find a book and try to read. Maybe make some tea.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Here's a photo of the hat/cap that I finished knitting on Monday that I don't really like. I'm modelling it in the apt, but picture is taken so there's not much of the apt shown. (Not ready to release those pictures yet!)
I wanted something to fit lower on the head, so I'm going to either take this baby apart (likely) or try to knit more below it by picking up maybe 160 stitches (unlikely, but who knows).
But anyway, how that there's a picture of it, I can move on and do something with it.