Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dan in Tennessee

He just crossed the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tennessee a few minutes ago. It's 35 degrees Celsius, just after 10pm, and he is going to get himself a motel room for the first time on this trip.

Dan has been sleeping in the back of the truck, at rest stops this whole time, save for the one night at the parents' cabin in Datil, New Mexico. I guess he decided it's time go get a proper sleep and a shower (or more likely, a bath).

I think this means he will arrive in Kinston on Thursday. I can't quite get an accurate sense of how long it takes to get across a state, given that there were dust storms in New Mexico that halted him entirely, and hail storms with a twister in the north of Texas that propelled Dan to keep going. He put in 2200km yesterday, drove for 23 hours. He was too freaked out to stop.

I am really missing My Sweety. Knowing he was that near danger is concerning. I am relieved at every moment I hear from him, knowing that he is safe enough to send me a message. He left a week ago today and I will feel unsettled until he is installed in his new/temporary digs in the Brewer's Residence.

If I were the praying sort, I would pray to the heavens and the ancestors to please keep My Sweety safe. Please let me find a way to get there soon. Please let everything I have to do in the time between now and our reunion go smoothly.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

trip to Victoria

I have just decided that I will take a trip to Victoria in June. It will either be the weekend of the 10th-13th or the 17th-20th. Victoria friends, are you available either of those weekends? Let me know...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

fifth night without My Sweety

I was able to talk on the phone to Dan today.

We both have iPhones, and we have this app called WhatsApp that we use in lieu of text messaging, because it uses the Internet rather than the telephone line and is therefore free (well, subject to data usages, but it's negligible for us).  We can use it to send each other our location (a picture of a map appears) or photos or video, as well as text. We are both also on Twitter, and since others are also interested in Dan's progress (@han_zolo Dan's sister Zola, presently living in Germany; @djfractal Dan's brother Thor, presently living in Boston; @joshbrewer Dan's new boss & soon to be coworker at @MotherEarthBrewing; et. al.) he sometimes posts his waypoints on Twitter when he has a connection.

I can't say it's been easy, having him gone, because it hasn't. I thank the heavens though for such inventions as we have available to us to make contact like this possible. Our communications over the last few days have been a bit choppy, as Nevada and Utah and Arizona have wide stretches of road where there is no 3G service, but as Dan heads east into Connectivity Land, I expect we'll hear from him more frequently.

Dan has been driving the 1986 Nissan 720 pick up truck. It's a bit hard on the butt & back, the seats definitely need replacing. Dan bough a cushion a few days ago and his back is still not doing very well. Dan has been sleeping on a foamie in the back of the truck. There wasn't much head space when he first started out, and decided after having dreams of that scene from Kill Bill 2 that he needed to change the configuration of the bed. (That was meant to make you laugh, but if you haven't seen KB2, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. Sorry, not going to explain).

Today I got to have a phone conversation with Dan. He is in Datil, New Mexico just now. That's where his mom & stepdad have a cabin and 30some acres of high desert just east of the Continental Divide. Dan & I went there on our honeymoon road trip in 2009, I would love to go back. John & Melinda are there right now so they'll get a visit in. That's good. I guess they also recently put in a land line, where previously they had no service at all. So I got to talk to Dan! It was so nice to hear his voice, and once he settles in in Kinston, North Carolina, I'm sure we'll be having Skype conversations several times a week. It makes the pain of our separation a little easier to bear.

more purging, packing, cleaning, etc.

One of the three bedrooms is completely cleared out. The front bedroom is where I am putting everything I will be taking with me to North Carolina. So far I have started eight Rubbermaid bins, labeled them, and am compiling a list of the things that are going into them.

I have another big pile of things to take out to the garage, for the garage sale or for friends to pick over. I think I'm almost done with this task, actually, I think I'll be done with the sorting by the end of tomorrow. It is really coming along swimmingly. Someone is coming to look at the house tomorrow, interested in renting, so I am going to bust my butt to make sure it is presentable.

I need to take a trip out to the landfill, but I don't know if I'll be ready tomorrow. I have started filling the truck, so it might just have to wait until after work on Monday, on my way home from Tofino.

I started going through the kitchen, but that's a two-phase process, because I have to decide what tools I will need until I leave & what food I will eat, as opposed to what things I know I'll never use and what foodstuffs are either no longer edible or simply unlikely to get consumed.

Here's what I still have left:
Futon we got from Dean, going to K2 when they get rid of their current couch
Dan's old futon, which might go to a coworker at the hospital or the fish boss if she doesn't want it
The slider rocking chair that was my mum's - no one wants it (really) but I will likely keep it until I leave
Table & chair set from Toni & the Skipper, going to K2
Table & chair set from my mum, going to Faye
Table with drawer from Toni & the Skipper, also going to K2
Spice rack going to K2

And lots of little things. Faye wants the ice cream maker. K2 might be interested in the slow cooker. A few friends who picked through the stuff in the garage last week indicated interest in coming back for another round. By the end of tomorrow, everything that I'm not taking with me will be out there. Maybe I'll have a garage sale next weekend.

The yard needs a bit of tending too. I have been using the push mower, which I love, but it does have its limitations. With a power mower, tall grass is no problem. In this case, I am really going to have to learn to use a weed whacker, because after spending an hour and a half with my little hand snips today, I realized that in that same space of time I could have finished the entire yard, and not just a small fraction of it. I found my protective eyewear today, if I can find some ear plugs or other ear protection, I might have a crack at it tomorrow.

I also need to fill in the newly created raised bed and plant some stuff in it. Darnit! I gave all my seeds away. I will happily go buy some romaine lettuce seeds and plop them in the ground - what doesn't get eaten by deer or slugs will likely not have a chance to bolt here.

There is also the rectangular depression in the back that in the winter fills up with water (there is not much soil above a clay bed here), and that I found a source of free fill for. I need to go through and pick out the big rocks, even it out, and tidy up that area. I thought about planting potatoes there but I might just seed it with grass.

A few other things. Dan wasn't able to part with the diesel engine or the Albacore sailboat. It may well fall to me to find homes for them. I also noticed that the pile of red brick, which our landlord had no use for, is no longer a nice neat stack. What happened to it? I get the lovely task of restacking discarded bricks that in many cases have lots of mortar attached to it. Great.

And O yeah there are the boxes of books in the crawl space, and the trombones. Dan used to play low brass when he was in high school, still has three trombones that he will never ever play again, that he's been dragging around for years. What to do with all this stuff? The horns might come with me. Honestly, I'm going to a place where there is tons of music that requires brass instruments. If there is a place for brass instruments, its the South. The books... I think it will all depend on how much room I have in the truck. I will take all I can, and leave the rest somewhere to be sent at a later date. The 'somewhere' might be Victoria, though friends have offered to ship them from Ucluelet too. I think it would make more sense in Victoria though, because of family who can cart that box across the border and ship them stateside.

Ugh. So many details to think about.

There are a couple of things that I have not come across in my cleaning, purging and packing. I would really like to find my Master's degree. Why did I not frame it? Why isn't in the safe place I thought it was? I absolutely remember packing it last March before we moved here, surely it must be among our things somewhere. (Perhaps in the said boxes of books in the crawl space? Due to lack of shelving, we have never even unpacked them). I might need to present it to the nice US Immigration people when I go for my interview. I could get another one printed but... you know... The other thing I would like to find is my pendulum.

Yes, I use a pendulum. It's nothing at all fancy, just a piece of raw crystal crudely strung up with some red embroidery thread, and it should be inside a little silk bag with the Om symbol on it. I can't recall having seen it in months. It's my quick  & easy divination tool for when I have simple Yes or No questions, when I feel a bit unsettled or need to make a decision about something. I do have other things I can use as a pendulum, but that little rock has been with me a long time. I miss it.

I'll go to bed early again tonight, perhaps get an early start tomorrow and get everything done tomorrow. All that will be left for me then is to wait out my time here, knit & listen to audio books (just finished Voyager, yesterday I started Gone With the Wind), and go swimming in Kennedy Lake as much as I can before I leave.

sometimes I listen

I sure thought I was coming down with a flu. I had the pain with swallowing and the all over body ache on Thursday night. I called in sick for Friday, waiting for the onslaught to come.

I let myself sleep in on Friday morning, and was surprised that I didn't feel as bad as I thought I would. Went to bed very early on Friday night, got a full ten hours of sleep, and felt absolutely refreshed this morning. So yay for not being sick! Turns out, my body just needed sleep, lots of sleep, and I listened.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

walloped

Holy crap.

About fifteen minutes ago, I got SMACKED with a flu. The painful swallowing, the all-over body ache.

Guess I'm calling in sick tomorrow.

blah...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#floundertruck

I hope you will indulge me, dear reader. I spend the majority of my social media time on Twitter and it seems that is how I do a great deal of communication with friends near and far. Thus, this post has another hashtag as its title.

Dan has been looking for a nickname for a while. Sometime last year he decided to start blogging again, called his blog Flounder Guts. When he saw how much fun I was having on Twitter, he signed up too and became @flounderguts. 

I wish I could have taken a photo of the fully loaded Nissan before he drove away in it, but a) I forgot and b) I wasn't there. But Dan has started tweeting with the hashtag #floundertruck, regaling us with his adventures along the road. Yesterday he reached Victoria, today he crossed the border. His first stop was to send off the petition for my immigration. Ball is rolling. Here we go.

Yesterday was a hard day. I left for work in the morning, knowing that Dan would have left by the time I got home. Cried on the way to Tofino. Then, while I was at work and opening a box of freshly sterilized suture trays, the tears came again. At one point the nurses popped in, asking "Are you okay?" to which I replied "I'm just sad". They understood. I had told them earlier that Dan was leaving. My nurses are great.

I started the day being tired, since we had stayed up late the night before, talking. It was our last night together, we were trying to spend every waking moment we could. While I was at work at the hospital yesterday, my fish job boss sent me a text, asking if I could do an offload that evening. I knew he must have been desperate if he was asking me on a weeknight, so I said yes.

On my way home from Tofino, I hit the junction (about 8km/5mi away from home on a 41km/25mi commute), and the truck started to shudder. I knew something was wrong, wondered if it had anything to do with the brakes. We had lent the Ford to a friend the week before, the brakes had seized on her. I got the truck home, sent her a text message, saying "so what do seizing brakes feel like...?" and she & her partner came over within minutes. I learned all you need to release a seized brake caliper is a gallon of water (to cool it off) and a hammer. Good friends. I was on my way.

It was a long and slow offload. When the pump broke, I knew that I would not be able to stay for the end of it, so fish boss had to come take over for me, so I could go home & get to bed at a decent hour and get sleep for my hospital job. I put in a 10.5 hour day yesterday. Both jobs required travel. I was tired.

While I was at the offload, I discovered my new friend Jason, who commented on the previous post, is a news junkie and spends rather a lot of time on the Internet. I gave him the URL to my blog, he is my newest reader. Welcome, Jason!

Dan called me from Victoria last night and I was up way too late again. The house is still completely messy and I am dying to get it clean, but I am so tired, I fear I may not have the energy to get to it until Friday after work. I host Stitch Night here on Fridays, and despite the disruption in our lives, the show must go on. Most of the furniture has left, but I'm sure we can find a way to tuck in my four knitterly friends who come regularly.

We moved here just over a year ago, and given how much our life has changed, I'm thinking a future post should be A Year in Review.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

paring down our life

I have to say it is a really cathartic thing to go through every single thing you own and decide what is worth transporting across the continent. Given the space of only two pick up trucks, one big and one small, what do you take? What gets left behind?

Dan's departure is imminent. He'll be leaving probably on Tuesday now, and I will have the mammoth task of divesting of the rest our things. While it may seem like a horrendous chore, I assure you that this is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, needed only a reason to do it.

We have a massive living room. On Friday night, we decided we would divide the room up into four zones: things going with Dan to NC, things going with me to NC, things to get rid of, things that will go back to or stay in Victoria (at Dan's parents' house).

Another zone that emerged: garbage/recycling. Question of my readers: any idea what I should do with all these jars? There is no glass recycling in Ucluelet or Tofino, and I haven't been able to just throw this stuff away. Now I have a mass of jars that have no destination at the moment. I'm thinking about taking them to a recycling place in Port Alberni the next time I go through.

We were going to have a garage sale on Saturday. But by late Friday night and early Saturday morning it became clear that there was no way we were going to be ready. At first we decided to postpone it for a day, then we just decided to clear out the garage, move all our getting-rid-of-stuff in there, and have a garage sale at some point later, after Dan leaves. I think that is the best way to go. I wasn't looking forward to suddenly having a garage sale this weekend, the last weekend I'll see My Sweety before he goes.

My plan then is this: I have a longish list of people to invite to come pick over the stuff before offering it up for sale. I'm sure I could get good money for lots of these things but really I just want to be rid of them. And I think it will be a good way to get stuff moving fast. Any books that don't sell, I think I'll take them to the library. The book stores around here offer only credit, I hear, and that won't do me any good. Not unless they have a North American road book.

At any rate, as we are going through our things, it is coming clear that we will be taking a lot less stuff than we thought, and we are rather pleased with ourselves about this. Our bare bones minimum will be less than stuffed-to-the-gills. That will mean better gas mileage and an easier drive.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#purgemode

If you are not familiar with Twitter, the subject of this post is what is called a hashtag. Twitter users can make anything they want into a hashtag which makes searching easier. If you search on Twitter for #purgemode, you'll see a bunch of tweets from me and a few from my friend Candice, also known as @felyn on Twitter. She lives in Port aux Basques, NL, and is a lighthouse radio operator. I don't recall how we found each other but I'm sure the friendship has lasted over a year. She is a scream to follow, and I think he is a younger, more adventerous and (dare I say) affluent version of me. The whereabouts of her pants are a frequent topic of conversation.

O gosh, I digressed even before I got into this post!

Today another round of stuff left the house. I didn't take pictures this time, mostly because the stuff that was going has little sentimental value. Except for a few of the houseplants. Dang. There were a few houseplants that had stories, like the kalanchoe that Dave & Charlene gave me for my birthday (was it last year? The year before?). We really liked Phil, the philodendron. We were sad to see him go, and have decided we will get a new Phil as soon as we can. There were the pepper plants that Toni gave me last year are presently bearing their second round of red peppers. Well, I might get a photo of these plants before I leave this place. But it all went to a good home: Kat & Kirsten.

Over the years, my friends Toni & the Skipper have given me tons of things. When I moved in with Dan, they were moving and getting new furniture, etc, so I got a lot of hand-me-downs from them:

1988 Toyota Tercel
fabulous spice rack that the Skipper built himself
hide-a-bed
table
foot stool
leather stuffed recliner
towels
table & chair set
and I'm sure there is more I'm missing but I'm tired & can't think just now. But basically they outfitted me with a houseful and means of transportation.

When they gave us the Tercel, I was only a few months into my relationship with Dan (though were had been engaged already). We weren't entirely sure what we'd do with the car, but we agreed to take it. It was a good thing too, because on the way back from our first big trip together, to Alberta to visit my sister, the van's tranmission went. We drove the Tercel all winter until Dan could fix the van.

The van. For those of you who know the van, this is a sad story. We have to let it go. It was badly injured on our honeymoon in the fall of 2009, and even though Dan could and wanted to repair it, he was short one TIG welder to be able to do it. He had spent three months of evenings and weekends making the van into a super camping vehicle, and now we have to say goodbye. It's terribly sad, for Dan's parents bought it new in 1986; Dan learned to drive in this van. And it's so much fun to drive! But in its current state, it would never make it across the border. We grieve.

I am loving this purging process, though. I've been wanting to do it for a while, needed only a reason. This is the best possible reason: moving across the border. I have figured out that I can fit 18 Rubbermaid bins into the back of the F150, make it 16 if I get a big kennel for Sam from Kat & Kirsten. I have started mapping out how many bins of each type of thing I'll take. At the moment, clothes take up two. So does yarn. I think I allotted two to the kitchen. One for outerwear. Two for bedding. Not sure what I'll take in the way of books, but my plan there is to store them in the basement at the Stately (Dan's parents house in Victoria), clearly marked, with lists of what is in them. Box 1 will have a list of titles, so on the other end when I want a particular book, I can ask to have Box 7 shipped please.

But I'm tired from all the excitement, from working, and then somehow yesterday I hurt my back. I must have twisted the wrong way or turned or something, but it feels like I've been punched just under my shoulder blade. It's not really bad, but enough to make me want to not lift anything heavy for the next couple of days. Dan leaves in a week and I won't see him for at least two months (unless I manage to get a job with an employer who will sponsor me a work visa - then I'll be there much sooner), so I'm trying to keep my game face on.

In the mean time, I continue in #purgemode

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some stuff I gave away





K2 gets first pick of all the stuff we are getting rid of. K came by the other day to put her name on some things, a smattering of which are featured in this post. Ks (partners) came by again for another round. It's good.

Featured above is a fern that we found last November when K2 invited us out to pick black huckleberries. Amazingly, this plant stayed alive in our house all winter. I say amazingly, because it is a rainforest plant and much used to being outside in the cold & wet, not in a warm dry house.


In the summer of 2007, soon after I had met Dan, I had moved out of the Fernwood House and into The Stately (where his mom & stepdad live). We were only there for a couple of months, because we were on our way to getting our own place in East Sooke. One night, while out for a run in Fairfield, I came upon this lovely old chair that someone was giving away for free.

I don't know if this happens in other places; I have only ever seen it on Vancouver Island. Put something out on the side of the road with a FREE sign on it, and most items seem to evaporate within the hour.


This here is a wee mango plant. A friend of mine grew this from a pit, and when I was visiting last fall, she offered me one of her houseplants. This little guy had scale all over it when we got it, and within a few weeks of regular tending, Dan had the scale beat.



This plant has come a long way. It was a small baby from the mother jade plant at Dan's mom's house in Victoria. 


A serger we never used. I think it came from Dan's mom too. 

 One time a long time ago, in what seems a past life, I said to the boyfriend of the time "will you build me a bench?". He pondered, then set to work on building himself a bed frame, a dresser, two end tables, a trunk, closet doors, and then he built me this bench. It's not the prettiest thing (it has been pale green, red, and orange) but it is definitely sturdy. It has served as a shoe rack, a plant stand, a bench.


Soon after the bench, the erstwhile boyfriend also built me this. I didn't ask for this, it was a suprise. He had just come back from hunting deer and we were having a conversation about it. I don't recall if my attitude was of being apalled or curious, but he said something about 'don't go into the pink bedroom, that's where the deer carcass is' and I could not resist bait like that. I went straight to the room and found this amazing piece of furniture. There is even writing on the back.

Fortunately, the shelf has lasted much longer than the relationship did. It too has been pale green, red, and now orange. It is extremely sturdy and has served me very well, and I have moved it more times than I can remember. But you know what? It was time to let it go. Let go of the baggage that the memory of that relationship held. Someday my husband will build me new furniture and it will be way better.


This is another piece I bought in 2005. I had just returned from living in Asia a few months before and had very little in the way of furniture. Everyone needs shelving, and I paid full retail for this at Staples one day. It's been a great plant stand and book case. 


I think I bought this piece when I was living on Richardson Street in Victoria. I know I got it at the second hand store on the corner of Quadra & Cook, kittycorner to the Thrifty's. I paid $30 for it in 2005, if memory serves.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The story of the next chapter of our life

(O good, Blogger is working. It was down a couple of days ago and people were concerned about the death of Blogger. Whew!)

In my last post I alluded to big changes in our life. If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that my husband got a job at a brewery in North Carolina. He as dual citizenship with the United States & Canada, so crossing the border for work will be no problem for him. He'll leave sometime in the last week of May.

I, however, do not have dual citizenship. I am 100% Canadian, so there is paperwork to do and processes to go through. The plan as it stands right now, is that Dan will get the paperwork for my immigration started as soon as he gets there. The fellow at the Consulate told him that the process should take about two months, give or take.

In this process, I have to go to Vancouver to have an interview with the immigration people. I have to have a medical check performed by the approved people at Vancouver General Hospital, which will include a chest X-ray and blood work. I will have to get a lot of vaccinations... Well, thanks to the organization I work for, I will be getting some of these next week for my New Employee Health Check. Also, I had Measles, the Mumps, and Rubella when I was a child, so I already have the antibodies for those. A simple blood test will prove that I don't need these immunizations. For the rest of them, I don't know how much it will cost, but I'm expecting it to be a few hundred dollars.

I have told my coworkers at the hospital and they are happy and sad for me at the same time. Happy that we are having this great adventure, that things are finally moving for us in a positive direction. Sad, because I have only been there 3 1/2 months and I have completely transformed my department from utter chaos to having a streamlined system that is organized and functional. I would like to claim this is 'Process Engineering' except that I have no background in PE.

I told my manager about the situation, let her know that she has me until the end of July. That will give her time to post my position and find another casual (to fill in for holidays and sick days) for me to train up before I go.

In the mean time, Dan will leave soon, I will be here in this house for two months. A friend might move in and take over the house when we leave, so I could potentially have a room mate for two months. That would be ideal; I sure don't want to live by myself in this big house. But that part is up in the air.

Also, since most of the stuff we own is hand-me-downs or things we found for free on the side of the road, we are giving it ALL away. A few sets of friends will get to have dibbs on our stuff, then it might just be a free-for-all on our front lawn. I'm not going to bother with a garage sale - it's way too much work to arrange, clean, price, and set up for stuff that will mostly end up at the thrift store anyway. All we will be taking is whatever will fit into our two trucks - the one Dan is taking this month, and the red truck that I will drive down.

So what happens at the end of July? Well, if my paperwork has gone through, I will probably spend a few days or a week in Victoria visiting everyone, saying farewells, and eating/drinking too much (you know how celebrations go). The approval might come sooner, in which case I have six months to get the the US. If it does come sooner, I'll play it by ear as to what happens. If it hasn't come by the end of July, I have a couple of options for places to stay to wait until the approval comes.

And then there is the cat to consider. She will have to get her rabies shot (she's due anyway) and a certificate of health no more than 30 days prior to crossing the border. Not a big deal, I've done that before. Driving across the continent will be another story. Sam hates driving. On the trip from East Sooke to Ucluelet, she MEOWed four of the five hours of driving it took to get here. At this point I am undecided about whether to put her in a kennel in the back of the truck, or to have her in the cab with me. I suspect it will be a combination of both things, depending on her behaviour and my tolerance.

I will be really missing Dan after being apart for so long, but I am planning to take my time when I drive across the continent. I'll stop in Kelowna to see some relatives. I'll get to Alberta to visit my family there. My mum might come with me for part of my journey, if she can get time off work. She would love to cross the border and take a road trip with me. If that works out, she'll probably drive with me for a few days and I'll drop her off at an airport, like Denver or Albuquerque or something. Dan also suggested that I make the journey with his mom. That would be great too, she is a US citizen and is familiar with lots of these places on the way. By the time I go through, she might already be in Missoula or New Mexico. So many details to sort out.

I had another idea too - for in the event that I do have to travel by myself, I wonder how hard it would be to find knitters to stay with along the way. Kind people who would put me and my skittish cat up for a night or two.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

bursting at the seams

I have some really big news to tell you all but I can't say anything just yet. Not publicly. But I will soon, I promise.

I'll just say it's pretty friggin' awesome and I am super excited.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

movement in the body

This post could be about a lot of things. No, I'm not about to regail you with tales of my gastrointestinal functions. I am celebrating a milestone.

I have lost 30 pounds!

I can't tell you how amazing this is. The first 20 or so seemed a breeze. Then I got sick, then things got a bit hard, then the birthday season came and my sister was here for a visit and the weight loss seemed to slow down a bit, but it's still happening. I'm back at shooting for two pounds a week, but we'll see how it ends up really happening. I'm being less vigilant about tracking my calories because, while I *do* want to be losing weight, I also want to keep healthy and still enjoy myself. I have made tremendous progress so far and I'm 3/5 finished what I set out to accomplish. 

So when I title this post 'movement', I mean that the weight on my body is moving. It is moving off my body. It is also changing the proportions. The weight first started coming off the chest area, something I waxed wistful about in a previous post. But while my arms and back are thinning out, the weight on my lower half was stubborn.  It seemed like it would never go. 

And then it started. I wear scrubs for my job and when I went to buy a second round, I had gone down a size. My 'thin' pants finally started to fit. This was about a month ago now. Now my thin pants are getting loose on me. The wind pants I put on over my tights when I exercise outside are loose on me. I can't actually remember being this thin - it's been a decade since I was here. 

So this is exciting, that my clothes are all draping a lot more. Alas, I have no budget for new clothes at the moment, I'll have to try my hand at alterations to see what I can do to my current wardrobe in the mean time. But the other thing I wanted to talk about here is how I am moving, how I move in my body now. 

I'm having a hard time picturing myself at 30 pounds more than I am now, but when I think about that, I think about having 30 pounds of weights attached to my thighs. I feel lighter now, I am lighter. I am a person who moves quickly to begin with, but with being lighter, my movements are less clumsy and more precise. I am becoming lithe again, my flexibility is returning. I can fold myself and bend in ways while doing yoga that, when there was more fat on my hips, were difficult because the fat would get in the way. It's made me wonder about yoga teachers - are they aware that body fat can be a limiting factor in what positions they can get to? That it's not just about flexibility but that sometimes the body just gets in the way of itself? 

This LoseIt! app for my iPhone has been amazing, and I can't believe I just downloaded it on a whim, that it has completely changed my life. And it was free.

In less than six weeks now, I'll be on the relay team in a marathon race. Our team isn't out to be competitive, but for fun, and it's a good thing. I haven't really been training (better get started soon, right?) I do know that if I end up getting one of the 10k legs, that it will take me about an hour and fifteen minutes, give or take, at my slowest. But I feel confident that I can do better than that, between how light I am getting on my feet as well as all the training I'll put in between now and June 12th. I think this is going to be a really good summer. Did I mention my bikini fits again? When I get rid of that last 20 pounds, even my swimsuits won't fit.

Knits by the Sea One Year Birthday Party

I must tell you a story.

Way back in February or March, I had an idea that for the yarn shop's birthday, I could round up a bunch of knitters to knit squares and we'd stitch them together for a blanket that we could give to Ellie. Wheels turned, ball got rolling.  I sent messages to everyone on Ravelry who was in the Knits by the Sea group. I talked to everyone who was present at the Cookie A Sock Retreat. I approached all my knitterly friends. Lots of people were on board.

Somewhere along the way, Dan, my uber-talented can-do-anything husband, suggested that we stitch the squares to bits of fabric and quilt it. Then I had the idea of putting loops on the thing so that it could be strung through a dowel and hung up like a tapestry, say, for fiber festivals...

Squares started coming in. I had no idea how many to hope for but they came from as far away as Ontario, some across the Island, some from Tofino and Ucluelet. Erin, who is about to open Tofino's new quilting & sewing shop, provided the fabric and batting.  The rest of the story is pictured below:


 Oops - upside down!

This is actually navy, the lighting didn't work so well with my iPhone camera.
 Stack of squares early on.
 Faye helped with the arrangement.
 One of the steps in the assembly process.
 My Sweety at work doing the sewing!
 Almost there!



 Dan drew a legend of the quilt so Ellie would know where they all came from!
 He also did the wrapping.
 Ellie opening her gift.
Look at that smile!

She blogged about this too - and her photo is way better:

http://tofinoknitting.blogspot.com/2011/05/thank-you.html

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the making of this quilt. It was a really fun project