Friday, September 29, 2006

no no no...they're here too...

buon giorno, mi chiamo Shannon

and I had my first Italian class last night...It was so much fun! I need to do a lot of studying though...the instructor has stopped speaking English to us already!

but...back to the title...Julia and I went to get some coffee and as we went up the stairs outside the office these little brats were there waiting for us. And when Julia shooed them away, they stopped, one got up on its hind legs and looked at us and finally they ran away...they're everywhere I go...

retreating raccoons


magic scarf and the calming properties of knitting...

So...recently I have found myself picking up my knitting again and fall leavesI once again have multiple projects on the go. The return of the knitting bug seems to have coincided with the return of the autumn leaves.

Yesterday at breakfast, I hauled out some needles and some yarn and started making a scarf. I've decided it's MY scarf. I'm not giving this one away. Yes, I am grumpy. Still grumpy.

Part of my morning routine before I settle in to work is to read Crazy Aunt Purl and see what Laurie is up to. When I first discovered Crazy Aunt Purl (thanks Fiona!), I went back and read the archives because I was so taken by this knitter who also happens to be witty and writes posts that are entertaining, heart wrenching, humourous and delightful. I happened to stumble across the "recipe" for the Magic Scarf and had been mulling it over in my head ever I started my own version of the magic scarf.

my magic scarf
Laurie recently asked for a picture of our knitting spots (Fiona, you should send yours in too even if you haven't picked up the needles for almost a year) and I was amazed when I looked at my camera to see the places I had pictures of my knitting...notice there are four knitting places and three different projects on display (and these are just the places that are actually ON the camera at the moment)!

knitting in the living roomin the living room (and yes, that is a tv!)

knitting in the kitchenat the kitchen table (see the pretty magic scarf in its infancy)

knitting on the busriding the bus

knitting on my desk at workat my desk at work...hmmm...wonder what that's about...

Anyhow, I have come to the conclusion that knitting is beneficial to my stress levels. While I am utterly exhausted today, the panicked state in which I spent most of the week has lifted...and I am sure that's because the magic scarf magically absorbed some of it!

So I need to offer some thanks this morning:
  • to Fiona for reintroducing me to knitting two years ago (cause knitting is saving my sanity these days)
  • to Laurie for the magic scarf (because the project that's saving my sanity is the magic scarf)
  • to Alex for driving me to work when the sun was still coming up and putting up with the grump (okay, that has nothing to do with the rest of the post...maybe if I add "and putting up with knitting at breakfast and dinner for the last two days" it fits better?)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

feeling ugh (and grrr...)

because I barely have time to breath let alone sleep, eat or see Alex...

but this morning I got to smile...because as I was rushing around, working from home, trying to get out the door to go to Kinkos and get them to make a kagillion copies of something half an hour ago and wondering why I bothered to get out of bed this morning, the mail slot banged. And Alex brought me this card that Fiona sent from Scotland. And that made my day just that much better!

It made my day because:
  • I got mail (and it wasn't a bill or a credit card application)
  • I got mail from Fiona
  • It was a postcard
  • I like postcards
  • It wasn't bent or torn or crinkled or anything like that, it was in perfect condition!
  • It was an advertisement for the Women's Land Army...need I say more...

women's land army

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

vancouver changes...

Check this out. Watch the city change over 25 years. It's pretty cool!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

OOC - could also be called "Overheard on Broadway"


yeah...special...and no, it certainly wasn't a reference to any sort of illegal substance...just a poor choice of words :)

beautiful glasses....

Who thought that big glasses were a beautiful fashion trend?! HUH?! WHO????

shanny and fifi at guelphAnd the stamps on my nose and Fiona's cheeks (if you can see them) are super fashion statements too!

Monday, September 25, 2006

official toy breaker

official toy breaker
That's me! The official toy breaker in her underwear and gorgeous plastic orange sunglasses, minus the lenses and blocks on the bike pedals so her short legs will reach.

confessions of a multitasker....

I am a multitasker.

Or at least I pretend to be a multitasker, when really I know I do much better (and quicker) work, whatever that work might happen to be, when I sit down and devote all my concentration to one thing.

I made a list yesterday of the things I needed to get done before people started arriving at my house for a meeting...
It looked like this:

shannon's to do list(Mulvi girls - care to guess what kind of soup I made?!?!?!)

Oh, and by the way, I am also a procrastinator.

The two things to do not go well together. Example:

It started off well. I had four and half hours to get everything done, including eat dinner which wasn't on the list. The soup had to simmer for three hours and I logically started with the soup. While I was making the soup I also put the groceries away and had that done and the dishes cleaned up (note, that wasn't part of the list) in about half an hour.

Then chaos broke out. I noticed the newspaper was begging for someone to read it. So I set the timer for 10 minutes and read the paper.

Then I thought, hmm...maybe I should get my report done and emailed off while it's all fresh in my mind. Good plan, except first I kept getting up and stirring the soup and changing the music and then seeing the laundry that needed to be folded and folding one shirt or a pair of pants and then remembering, ooops, I'm supposed to doing my report and then I hit a roadblock and needed some advice from someone else who happened to not be at home.

So, I thought, "Let's get those emails sent." I had another list of who needed an email and what information needed to be included, but I got distracted by the emails my friends sent me and reading Heddy's blog (oh, and that "Next Blog" button is a BRILLIANT way to case you were wondering). And the laundry.

Then I wandered into the bathroom in search of an elastic for my not-quite-long-enough-yet, but-almost-ready-for-a-ponytail hair. And noticed the sink needed cleaning.

But I ignored the toilet and shower and mirrors...and went back to the laundry. Then I saw the boxes. And I decided I didn't have enough time to deal with I moved them out of the way and in the process found a pile of filing that needed sorting. So I sorted it. Then realized that the report needed to be finished...I could finish all those parts except the one that I needed help with. And then it was only an hour before I needed to be done and the cornmeal muffins take about half an hour to mix and bake. And then there were no eggs...

Anyway, you get the idea. I got it all done...but I think if I'd stopped to do it one thing at a time, I would have had more time left to read the paper...and maybe read those emails from my friends and all that...yeah...


That's all...time to stop procrastinating...

weekend? huh?

So, apparently somewhere between Friday and Monday are two days called Saturday and Sunday that are often referred to as "the weekend." I've heard all kinds of stories about these mythological days and how they are used. Some people use them to go away, others use them to clean, repair, add on to, or beautify their homes and yards. Some people relax. Other spend time with friends and family.

I have a vague feeling that somewhere in ancient time, I too got to experience this phenomenon. Somehow I even think it was in this maybe the idea of weekend isn't just a myth...

It definitely was a myth this week...

I guess I will have to try very hard and put some real effort into making sure that next Friday night when I go to bed, I wake up and discover Saturday morning...not Monday morning!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

once a reader, always a reader

shannon readingreading

shannon reading to auntie jennyreading to auntie jenny

shannon reading morestill reading...not much has changed!

and to steal a line from punk, "WASN'T I CUTE?!?!?!?"

what happened to fall?

cause I swear winter arrived this morning. it's cold...I'm wearing a blanket at my desk and consuming endless mugs of hot beverages...and the radio said sun this afternoon...ha...those clouds don't look like they're done pelting us with large amount of precipitation!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kelsey is coming back...


but she's coming back.

she'll be working in Vancouver for about two weeks and she's going to stay with us! YAY...


Sunday, September 17, 2006

raccoon invasion

sooo...we've had an interesting time with raccoons...this friendly little raccoon...who turned a little vicious...multiplied into FIVE very bold raccoons yesterday morning...

stupid raccons
stupid raccons
stupid raccons
stupid raccons
we avoided the deck for the rest of the day...they were scary and barking and snarling and out in daylight for some reason...

Saturday excursion

alex waiting for the buswaiting for the bus to come...

Then it was off to procure some fabric for some pretty new kitchen curtains...and we bought ourselves some new dining room furniture. Now we just need to rid the house of the cookies...goodbye cookies...

beautiful daybeautiful day

bus rideriding the bus...

bus ridestill riding the bus...

bus ridemore riding the bus...yes... we were bored on the bus...

cheap gascheap gas

cleaning the cupboardsMMMmmm....yuck...our house smelled like vinegar, causing our taste buds to crave things like salt and vinegar chips and fish and chips and things like that...but some of our shelves are now SUPER clean and de-mothed...

ah...spiderWe picked Kelsey up from the bus and the first thing she did when she got to the house was discover this creature in the sink. See the candle next to it...YUP, it was HUGE....
PS the candle is for doesn't live in the sink...

Saturday, September 16, 2006


clarify this
but what is it???

clarify them?
and who are they?

and what's with the green stuff?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

the plant I tried to kill...


when I got it, I knew I'd kill it. Miniature roses don't like living at my house for some reason.

Then it got covered in moss and I went away on vacation.

I made a deal with the plant...if it survived, I'd put it in a bigger pot when I got back, cause it was in desperate need of transplanting. So I came back and it was still alive and I ignored my half of the bargain. Then we went away again and again when we came back, it was still alive. So I transplanted it.

Now it has tripled in size and is blooming?!?! What's up with that...sometimes I kill plants when I want them to stay alive, but when I purposely try to kill a plan it totally defies me and lives and blooms and looks great?!?!

still alive
Oh well, it's pretty and I'm happy a miniature rose finally survived my house!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Back to school

Tonight was my first class of the fall and it was FUN!

And it is Business and Professional Writing, something I never thought would be FUN, but it was!

Yay, now I'm excited about the class and the program again...

Ask me how I feel once Thursday night classes start might be a different story then....

Monday, September 11, 2006

out of context quote...

It's been awhile since there has been an OOC quote, so here's one...

I didn't put it in

computer macgyver...sort of

Chandra, my friend the computer guru (check out the multiple computers), came over to make my new-to-me computer work.
computer guru at workI did something bad to it and made the computer insist there was no monitor (okay, maybe it wasn't me, who knows).

I learned some things about computers.

1. When there is an error message and then your computer reboots over and over again, read the error message
2. When the error message flashes past too fast and you've tried to read
it seven times and failed, you need to try something else
3. Chandra is the computer MacGyver and told me to get my camera
4. Put the camera on rapid fire mode
5. Then you get a picture like this one
macgyver-esque computing6. But the internet sucks so the computer still thinks it HAS NO MONITOR
7. And the computer thinks that 16 colours is enough (which lots kind of like the picture on the right, only worse...fewer colours, more pixelation...UGH!)
full colour vs 16 colours...I'm still using the old computer.I think it knows it is going to be replaced. It's become temperamental and developed an attitude!

I guess Chandra will be coming back (I HOPE Chandra will be coming back), unless she hates my computer...Thanks for trying Chandra. You got further than I did!

out, damned cookies

yeah, so the cookies left, but then they came back...or at least most of them came back. Moving cookie boxes up and down the stairs is an excellent workout! But I don't want to repeat it again anytime soon!

Alex was glad to see the cookies leave...

alex moving the cookies out

And we discovered 42 cases of cookies fit in 2001 Honda Civic, with room to spare!

cookies in the car

But not so happy when they came back again later that least there's something in our dining room now...that's a plus, right?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy New Year!

Okay, so it's not January 1 or the New Year according to any other calendar that I'm aware of (yet...Rosh Hashanah is coming up soon), but it is back to school and even though I am not really going back to school, it still feels like the start of the year to me.

So many of our activities are marked by the school doesn't help that I work for an educational institution, but yesterday, it all felt new.

It probably helped that there were all those fresh faced students with lost looks on their faces, crisp new jeans, white white runner and very tidy hair cuts (and no roots) wandering around campus all day.

We spent part of the weekend clearing the bedroom closet of unwanted/unneeded *stuff*, deep cleaning the kitchen and removing junk, dust and cobwebs from one corner of the basement.

And yesterday morning when I left the house, that crisp September air had replaced the warm August mornings I had been used to. Sure, the cooler weather had been around for a few weeks, but there was an edge to it yesterday and there was extremely thick fall dew on the patio table and the windshield of the car.

Aside from the obvious return of the students, the University seemed to wake up from its summer slumber. We're all still here during the summer, and we're all still working, but the email and phone volume increased yesterday as did the urgency of getting things scheduled and booked and having people meet with other people. And I don't even work for an academic office...

For me, even though the calendar still says 2006, a new year just started....I guess I could make some new year's resolutions...somehow the September resolutions always seemed to stick for a day or two longer than the January ones ever did. Maybe it's because the weather's nicer!

Bard on the Beach part four - Troilus and Cressida

The last one...

And possibly the best one!

We enjoyed all of the shows we saw this summer...maybe it's too hard to pick the best one, but Troilus and Cressida was definitely very good! The line up was the longest one yet and the theatre was crowded. The Southern accents were fairly well done and actually worked quite well with Shakespearean language! I loved the hoop skirts and was interested to see Andromache knitting (although not very well)....This was a totally different Bard experience for me because it was the first Shakespeare I'd seen for a few years that I had never studied. It was great...

I guess that's all until next year....

Summer must be OVER!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Other Boleyn Girl

Sigh...another book done...The Other Boleyn Girl was super...Just like The Virgin's Lover, it left me wanting to read more about the Tudors...oh the scandalous British monarchy!! Diana and Charles are nothing compared to those Tudors! And it seems that Philippa Gregory has written the other boleyn girla third novel about the Boleyns, The Boleyn Inheritance! I can't wait until it comes out here....And it's all about Jane Boleyn who was not a favourite character in The Other Boleyn Girl.

It was interesting reading this one after The Virgin's Lover, knowing what might happen to some of the characters under Elizabeth's reign. I loved the way Mary changes from being a silly, annoying narrator to being an enjoyable character and Anne seems to be not so bad at the beginning of the book and a tyrant towards the end...

Definitely worth reading, even if it appears that great liberties or artistic license were taken with Mary Boleyn's life. There are such amazingly contradictory reports about who she was and her circumstances. I guess that's why she made such a great historical fiction subject.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

peaceful afternoon rudely frightened away

MMMMMmmm....Alex and I spent a quiet, end-of-summer day taking advantage of the good weather and our lovely deck furniture. We spent hours playing Yahtzee and Battleships...yes, we are dorks.

Next weekend we think we'll crack out the Payday or Sorry or Clue game boards...maybe Monopoly. You're all invited (cause I know we're not the only dorks out there)!

I threw two Yahtzees in a row, which Alex promptly imitated!

triple YahtzeeOur lazy, peaceful Saturday afternoon was rudely pierced by loud screams, emitting from my lungs. I was standing at the stove, making dinner, and I heard a noise behind me. I turned around to see a HUGE raccoon...that evil guy I mentioned earlier...peering in the window at me.

He didn't seem too disturbed by the horrible noises I was making. Alex came running, thinking a person had wandered into the kitchen, saw the raccoon and slammed the top half of the door shut, as the raccoon ambled along the window ledge...I'm sure it was attracted by the smell of food.

It sat under the table for a while and watched us and then climbed over the fence/edge of the deck and went to play with the wasp nest we think it destroyed.

destroyed nestIt's kind of hard to see the hanging bits, but really, it's hanging...hanging a lot!