Friday, August 22, 2014

Getaway Bike!

This was during my sixth trip to NS in six months. It was the beginning of June.  I finally cracked.  I rented this from the fantastic folks at Sweet Ride Cycling in Mahone Bay, NS.  It was aluminum and heavy and the canti brakes weren't quite right for some of the mountain bike trails I took it on. It was perfect.

Specialized TriCross in the wild

I spent most of my time on the converted railway tracks that make up a huge (unpaved) cycling network in Nova Scotia.  This was my biggest ride.  Those bike rides weren't about fitness, or training, or going fast or far or even riding well.  They were about finding some tiny part of my normal life, and clinging to it in stress and sadness, getting outside and feeling the sun and rain and fresh air and feeling alive.  It's not the first time a bike has been my getaway vehicle, and it likely won't be the last. 

They were some of the best bike rides I've ever had.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I escaped Ottawa for 48 hours last weekend, and it was the best thing I've done in months.

Camp fire on an island with amazing wine.  Okay.

I was lucky enough to get the invite from a new friend of my sister's (Newfoundland Chanceys, you'll apparently meet him in September!).  I like cities in general, and Ottawa in specific, but the chance to leave for a few days and be near the water, far from [most] people is always too good to pass up.

This might be heaven.
I had two days of sleeping on an island, in a lake, big open water swims, suntanning on a dock, delicious food and beer and wine, campfires, saunas, naps, boat rides, card games, and laughs.  It was fantastic.

If you ever get the chance, go there.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Hiatus II

I don't have many words, still, mostly.  I've two huge life changes in the past few months, one wonderful, and one utterly heartbreaking but unavoidable.  I'm sitting in a new office, with certain brown dog sulking outside the door.  That dog has eaten a chocolate brownie and a bar of soap in the past 24 hours.  She's still mostly awesome. I haven't ridden nearly enough bikes, I've eaten terrible food (and some absolutely delicious food!) and I've laughed and cried and spent time with the most wonderful people in the world.

I've missed weddings and birthdays and generally sucked at keeping in touch.  I really am sorry for that.  I'm sincerely looking forward to a return to normalcy - or new normal, in my case!  I've also got a big, new bucket list (remember this?) rattling around in my head.  In good time.

At one point, I said, "There is something incredibly comforting about having so many people who love you in one room."  There is.  Go find your people, and tell them you love them.

Then, snuggle up with your bestest napping buddy.

Seriously, who eats soap?!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Music Monday: Indio

Just go get this whole album.


(Obviously, I don't own the rights to anything. If you like what you hear, go BUY it. Not download it for free. Give these artists some love!!!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Golden Wheat Cardigan

Headless mirror selfie FTW!

This one took a long, long time.  It's grossing ('grossing' is a verb that describes cold, sideways rain) out in Lunenburg today, so it's a good day to be snuggled into a cardigan that's a size too big.  (Yes, I swatched.  No, it didn't help.  I'm starting to think I just can't measure myself!)

See, look.  Swatching.
It's the Golden Wheat Cardigan by Rain Knitwear Designs (with a few modifications) and it's a great project.  It's knit on one giant circular needle, and really is simple to follow.  You might want DPNs for the sleeves, but I made do without.  I made the small instead of the extra-small, which obviously was a mistake.  I'm not sure that I'm willing to take the time to tear the while thing out and start over.  Also, the width at the shoulders is absolutely perfect for me, so maybe I just need to scale down to the XS size below the armpit.

It was a perfect airport project, which is good, since much of it got knit in airports.

I knit the whole thing inside out, since I wanted the body in stocking stitch rather than garter stitch.  The internet tells me I'm not the only one to try this.  (Here, here, here, et cetera).  I also didn't do the decreases at the waist, which in retrospect was a mistake.

Once you get past the armholes, the body knits up really fast.

At one point I was pretending to live-tweet my cardigan on twitter... that was about as exciting as you might expect up-to-date news on a knitting project to be...
It's even cute without sleeves!
Anyway, go buy this pattern.  Measure carefully, swatch appropriately, knit joyfully, and enjoy!!

One-armed-bandit stage.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seven Travelling Sins

I don't remember my first plane ride.  I was pretty young.  I can, however, remember air travel from a long time ago.  I remember hot meals on domestic flights.  I remember real metal cutlery and glassware.  For the longest time I had a little Air Canada tote bag that must have been given to passengers - it was likely a gift from my Dad, who traveled a lot for work.  There was cologne in that bag.  4711, which has since been renamed Jean Marie Farina.  Yes, I still own a bottle.

I've been on a lot of airplanes lately.  I love traveling.  Really.  I especially love plane rides.  That said, there are a few thing that we, the traveling public, need to get straight.

The security line moves slowly enough, there's no need to slow it down further.  That means as you move through the security line, you take off your shoes, belt, watch, and jewellery, get out your zip-lock of liquids and laptop, and organize your belongings to pile in the bins for the conveyor belt.  These things should be done before you get to the front of the line to walk through the scanner.  Similarly, once through the scanner, put your shoes on, grab the rest of your things, and move down the conveyor belt.  You can put your belt and watch on once you get to your gate.  Holding up the line is unnecessary.

If you can't actually carry your carry-on bag, it's too big.  It it takes up more than your fair share (half or one third) of the overhead bin and/or won't fit under the seat in front of you, it's too big and needs to be checked.  Ditto for bringing seventeen pieces of carry-on luggage.  Don't be that person.  Lastly, please rethink the idea that you 'need' to bring a full-sized pillow or humongous stuffed animal.  Really?  Seriously?

There is a dividing line between the seats.  Under no circumstances should your body extend beyond that line and squish into your neighbour's seat.  They paid for a whole seat, just like you did.  Stay on your own side.  On that note, personal hygiene on airplanes is not optional.  No excessive perfume or cologne, and no bad breath or body odour.  Also,
if there is someone sitting behind you and you are not on an overnight flight, do you really need to recline your seat?

Children are humans too, and they need to travel.  They also need to behave.  This means no screaming, running in the aisles, or kicking the seat in front of them.  EVER.  Traveling with a little one?  Try a juice box with a narrow straw or breastfeeding (as appropriate) during takeoff and landing.  Sucking helps equalize Eustachian Tube pressure, and makes ear pain more bearable.  Bring whatever toys/books/bribes it takes to keep your little bundle of joy occupied on the flight, within the realm of things you can reasonably and easily carry on the plane.  If it's your child, it's your job to keep them well-behaved and under control.

When exiting the plane, slow moving traffic should keep to one side on the gangway.  Ditto for escalators and moving sidewalks.  Think of it like a highway.  Just because you've got all the time in the world doesn't the person behind you isn't in a desperate hurry to make a connection or embrace a loved one.  Move over and let them pass.

Lastly, and perhaps conversely, try to be patient with those around you, especially parents with desperate, tired eyes and airline staff (who may have the same eyes).  If you have a problem with something, politely make the problem known to a member of the flight crew or ground staff.  You can write a scathing letter to the airline once you've reached your destination.

Until we can have airplanes like this (thanks, the Oatmeal!!), please spread around this little bit of common sense to make everyone's air travel just a little more civilized!  



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