Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Thursday, November 17, 2011

O Hey

There I go again, neglecting my readers. Sorry friends.

I had a fantastic weekend chicken-sitting in Cowichan Bay last weekend. Sam and I drove up on Thursday and we stayed four nights.  The photos below don't really reflect what I did over the weekend, but hey, it's all I have to show for it.

Soon this place will be home to a wood stove. I can't wait

Mittens for my niece! She asked me for yellow mittens before I left Alberta. I didn't have enough yellow yarn, so I had to use white as well, which made them look a bit like scrambled eggs. O well. I have discovered that an afterthought thumb is my favourite.
 Sam slept on every surface in the house, I think.

 Cherry brandy! Earlier this year I was reading one of Diana Gabaldon's books and Claire was visiting an apothecary in Paris, drinking cherry brandy. So I needed some too.
 On Saturday morning I went into Duncan (the closest town, 10 minutes drive away). I don't know what happened to my old travel mug but I have been without one for - well, I don't even know. Five months? I don't really go into stores very often, not wanting to be tempted, but I thought I'd pop into London Drugs to look around. They had a not great selection of travel mugs but I did like this one. I'm thinking about something that will fit into the cup holder in my truck (I really think the people who design travel mugs should get together with the people who design cup holders in vehicles), something that is dishwasher safe, and something that will match with the car we might own in two years. Brown is a popular colour for newer vehicles and I really dig it. But I didn't buy this mug. It was 26.99.
 I had to buy lottery tickets. That's what one does when one needs hope, right?
 Action shot of Sam. Here she is rolling around on the floor. That's how I know she was happy!

 Aw. Sam is cleaning her cute kitty face. So cute.
 This! Ok so Toni had grown way more tomatoes than they could possibly use, and for about six weeks, they had tens of pounds of tomatoes ripening in crates in their dining room. These tomatoes really needed to be used up, so I cut up as many would fit onto a baking pan. Added a few rather large cloves of garlic, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt. Put it into the oven. That was as far as I had gotten in my plan, but it was going to be a component of the dinner I would make for my friends when they got home from Vancouver.

I can't remember what temperature I put them at, but boy they sure smelled good. I decided they would either go into a pasta or perhaps on a pizza, would let my friends decide. The vote was for pizza, so I threw together a crust.

Toni helped out by spreading pesto on the crust. Then on went the tomatoes & garlic mixture, we threw on some chopped artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, feta and some amazing cheddar. Oven was set to 400 degrees, we had it in for about 25-30 minutes.

I didn't use a recipe for the crust, just sort of threw it together. During the pizza assembly we were drinking beer too :-) so the 'throwing together' was a bit more literal than figurative. It turned out well though and between the three of us, there were almost no leftovers.

What else did I do? I watched Brokeback Mountain. Have you seen it? I had heard a reference in the news to the 'gay' penguins in the Toronto Zoo (who are probably not homosexual but are just very good friends, ah how we humans have to anthropomorphize everything) to the movie and decided it was time I saw it. Holy crap. I won't drop any spoilers here but gosh that movie had me thinking about it for days and days. I even tried to overwrite my memory with a few Miss Marple episodes (so much knitting while sleuthing for the murderer!). I'm not a fan of murder mysteries, but a few months ago on Twitter during a #knitchat, we had a discussion about knitting in movies and television, someone mentioned the Miss Marple series. Hey - it's BBC and has knitting in it, so it has to be good. And it is! The stories are all expertly woven together a la Agatha Christie. What I love, though, is the setting. All the stories are set in post WWII England in the late 1940s to early 50s. I love that era, especially the fashion of the times. That alone is reason enough for me to watch the series. Nuff. said.

I also went running a few times. It was so nice running around on country roads where cars aren't going highway speed and there isn't actually much traffic to speak of. I found some lovely enclaves, long straight flat stretches, and some beautiful scenery. The weather cooperated while I was there also.

I didn't take any photos of the chickens this time around, but I did hang out with them. The first night I was in charge, it was super stormy and blustery. The row coverings for the raised beds threatened to blow away. I worried about the chickens, but they seemed not to notice the storm. They were just excited when I came out to give them their treats (involving sunflower seeds). Chickens. The Skipper had built an automatic door opener to the chicken coop that is set on a timer, so that all I had to do was open and close the door to the outdoor pen. Happy chickens!

I also went into a feed store on Saturday, while I was in Duncan. The vet Sam saw in Alberta for her pre-border-crossing checkup & vaccinations gave us a free sample of dental formula crunchy food. Sam loved it so I promised her when it next came time to buy food, she would get that brand. It's amazing how much she likes it. And I don't know if it is having some variety, something different, or if it's just the 'new' bag of food. No matter. She likes it and that's all that matters.

I did a fair amount of knitting on the weekend too. Finished the mittens for my niece, started another pair for some other family member who doesn't read my blog, and also cast on for the Mezquita shawl. Three hundred and sixty one stitches. 361. Do you have any idea how long that takes? Because first you cast on, and you're counting, and maybe you're also watching Miss Marple so you lose count once or twice, but casting on takes a l o n g time. And then you recount your stitches like five times, getting a different number every time. Then you decide you need stitch markers but didn't bring any, so root around the kitchen for twist ties and voila! I put a twist tie every 50 stitches, counted them twice to be sure, and ended up with 362. Off by one. Easy to fix. I have since learned that one episode of Miss Marple, about 100 minutes, sees me knitting exactly two rows of this shawl. I'm not a fast knitter, but I'm certainly not a slow knitter. It's just lace and counting and thinking and going back and fixing. I'm 10 rows in now, have 10 more rows of the lace section before I get to the short row stockinette section. I haven't taken a photo of this yet or I'd show you. Maybe tomorrow.

I try as best I can to be cheerful and optimistic about my situation, but sometimes it's hard. The immigration lawyer Dan hired filed the application on Friday, having sent it registered mail. Immigration processed the cheque on Monday already, so that was very encouraging. When Dan filed the first time in the summer, they never even processed the cheque, so this seemed like a big thing. Apparently this is a slow time of year for applications for green cards, meaning I should get processed fairly quickly. Fingers crossed. Then yesterday I had an avalanche of sadness. This seems to be happening on a weekly basis at the moment, where I'll just feel like I'm scraping bottom. I'm oversensitive to everything at the moment, it seems, particularly my cat.

Sam fully recovered from the fight on Halloween, but on Saturday night she started oozing some pus out of her right eye. I called the vet hospital on Monday, the same one she got her sutures from, to see if the two might be related and she said no. She said it's probably not much to worry about unless it was accompanied by loss of appetite and lethargy. Well, her appetite is just fine. And lethargy? It's hard to tell. She doesn't have a lot of space to roam so she's probably too bored to do anything but sleep. I don't know.

Then, two days ago, she stopped being lovey with me. She's not an especially lovey cat but still. I haven't heard her purr since Monday night. She's all I have right now, you see, my dear cat that I brought home with me from Korea in 2003, this cat who has been by my side through all my depressive episodes and a few of my surgeries. I need her to love me. That's her job as my cat. Her eye goo is lessening and she is otherwise acting perfectly normal. I just want to hear her purr.

Yesterday this lack of affection hit me really hard and I just crumbled. Had an anxiety attack, actually, which is something I've not experienced in quite a long time. And you know, it's not just because of the cat, it's a combination of everything. I am bothered by this not so much because of the sadness but by how much it inconveniences me. Crying like that takes a lot out of a person so you're left exhausted. And I have things to do! I may not be working full time but I do have this little project I need to get finished. And the sooner I get finished, the sooner I can get to my knitting, non stop, in front of Miss Marple and underneath the electric blanket, tea to hand. Sam will be fine, she's just having a mood (just like I do). I will be fine too.


  1. 1. The pizza looks delicious!
    2. Your cat is beautiful.
    3. Sometimes a good cry is just what we need.
    4. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the immigration thing!

  2. You have to be one of the strongest people I know. I'm not sure how you do it, but you're an inspiration.

    I'm glad to see that Sam is feeling better since the halloween fight! She's probably a bit off from all the stuff you guys have been through too.

    I hope everything goes as quickly as it can!

    (also pizza thrown together is the best pizza)

  3. Thanks ladies, for your kind words! A happy ending: Sam has started loving me again. All will be well!