Wednesday, May 30

The kindness of strangers...

Or, "The Yarn Crawl that Wasn't"...

Yesterday was a very strange collection of events. I was in the mood for Chinese food, and wanted to go to that "walking distance" LYS I had looked up. Catherine {my roommate and recipient of the super-secret project} and I trekked off in search of this LYS and then pick up the food on our way back. Silly me, I didn't write down EXACT directions on how to get there... and obviously the day that I was perusing the phone book map of the city, I wasn't paying as close of attention as I should. Fast forward about an HOUR, and you find two ladies drowning in Lake Erie {there was like 15 different Lake Erie streets and such!}.

Then we tried to walk back to the main street that we knew. For those of you that know Calgary, we're staying at the Delta Calgary south which is bordered by Macleod, Bonaventure and {I think it's} Southland. Anyway, Macleod and Bonaventure are parallel here, and we went down Bonaventure. Well somewhere along the way, one or the other moved.... REALLY FAR!!! I *think* we were walking south, and somehow the 1 block west to go from Bonaventure to Macleod turned into a mile or more. Finally, on some strange street, we asked a lady for directions on how to get to Avenida Place, which is the mall where the LYS is. She tried to explain where it was from where we were, but it was quite difficult. For all of Calgary's street planning, this particular neighbourhood is full of winding and curved roads. When I showed her my sheet with the listing of the LYS, she then offered to DRIVE the two of us there. I couldn't believe my luck! This particular lady was very grandmotherly, and the two of us were {well me at least!} in no shape to continue walking into oblivion. I'm guessing that the fact that we were looking for a yarn shop took care of any concerns she may have had about two strange ladies coming up to her and asking for directions! As she drives towards the mall, we discovered just *how* much further from Macleod we were than we though {that street REALLY moved far!!!}, and how far we were from our hotel! I'd say that we were at LEAST a mile *past* the mall, which was well over a mile from our hotel {I'd estimated about half that!}. She pulls into the mall and takes us to the shop.... WHICH WAS CLOSED!!! gone, kaput, no longer of this earth. I was beyond devastated. I *had* checked the phone book to double check my listing, which is how I found out that Avenida Place was a mall, and not just a street address. Unfortunately, due to major hotel issues {will blog that later}, we have *no* local phone service available in our room... I can only call other rooms in the hotel, so I neglected to phone this particular place and confirm their hours and such.

Anyhoo, this kind soul {I never got her name :( } then offers to drive us back to the hotel. I pause slightly and say, "Well, actually, we were going to stop for lunch... if it's no trouble, could you drop us off at Willow Park so that we can go to the restaurant?" Willow Park is a small strip mall that was about half-way between where we now were and our hotel. She agrees to take us there, and when we arrive, she refuses to take any money that I had offered her for gas. At around $1.20/L right now, gas ain't cheap!!! I thanked her profusely and into the restaurant we went, extremely grateful for her absolute kindness. If this is the worst thing that happens to me during my stay here in Calgary, it will be a great trip indeed!!!

Our adventures *still* weren't over though! We placed our orders, and had them to go, as all I could think about by this point was getting back to the hotel and resting! Good thing I didn't go to the exercise room beforehand!! It ended up that the hotel was a *lot* further from the restaurant than I had remembered from the walk the other way. I can't get over just *how* out of shape I am!!! We *finally* get back to the hotel to discover that this particular Chinese restaurant has customer service out the ying-yang!!! I had ordered separate dishes, which were packed very well... cardboard separating the layers so that nothing got damaged, HUGE portions, and even after the 15 minute or so walk back to the hotel, was *still* too hot to eat!

Sooooo... in the light of all this, I don't care what I have to do to phone first, I'll figure out *something* before attempting any more yarn crawls, and I'm forever indebted to the kindness of some generous grandmother in South Calgary!

Tuesday, May 29

The Eagle has landed!!!

Well... not necessarily, but I *have* found interweb here in Calgary. Stupid me, I didn't find out about it until yesterday though. Oh well. That now means that I can now annoy you all with stupid tidbits about working in a city that seems to have no one working in it!!! Every freakin' place you go, there's a "help wanted" sign *somewhere*. You can't get away from it... except at the little Vietnamese laundry where I went to wash my clothes on the weekend... that place is run by a family and didn't need anyone else!

BTW: A little birdie told me that there's a yarn shop a not-too-long walk away that's by a Chinese food place to try out, and another one a very short C-train ride away... I get to take a train!!! YAY!!!

Tuesday, May 22

See ya in a few!!!

Weeks that is! I'm off to the airport in a couple of hours. I'm heading to Calgary for a few weeks {months?} to help out at a store there. I'm *supposed* to be getting a trip home every 3 weeks, so if you post a comment while I'm gone, it might take a while for it to show up! I'll miss you all, and hope to come back with lots of pictures. If the O/T pans out like I'm hoping, I should even have some yarn pr0n too!


Tuesday, May 15

Cheesecake for dummies

AKA my idiot-proof pineapple cheescake recipe.
Can you remember ½ cup of sugar? Can you operate a hand blender? Then you are capable of making your own pineapple cheesecake! BTW: I haven't tried it myself, but I've heard of others using other canned fruit with yummy results.

  1. Take one brick of cream cheese and place into a largish bowl to warm to room temperature.
  2. Take one can of crushed pineapple {or fruit of your choice} and drain well.
  3. Make one graham wafer crust following the recipe on the box of graham crumbs.
  4. Make one envelope of Dream Whip according to the recipe on the packet {a tub of Cool Whip also works well}.
  5. Take the ½ cup of sugar and cream it into the cream cheese.
  6. Add pineapple and Dream Whip to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.
  7. Spread mixture over crust.

Now comes the hardest part of all: Put in fridge for 8 hours/ overnight to set... don't touch it!!! {Trust me... after you've tasted the mixture, it *is* the hardest part of all!

Wednesday, May 9

Fifteen days...

... from start to finish for the benefactors. I'd say that blasts the 4 weeks for Derek's tigers out of the water!!! *teehee*

And the knit goes on...

Sometime today the benefactor socks will be done. I'm just about to start the toe decreases on benefactor #2. This will add 380 m to my marathon total.

I cast on a new pair of WW socks in a simple design for me. I'm expecting the pair to take 3 balls of the Mission Falls 1824 {100% superwash wool in Aster} yarn I have, so that will be 234 m more when done. I hope to get this pattern written up and offered for sale once I complete them.

There's 3 pair on the backburner for the moment... I'll see how inspired I am to work on them. I'd like to keep up my pace of 4 pairs a month since it's been very encouraging to me to see so many pairs of socks completed.

Wednesday, May 2

Decisions, decisions...

Well today's dilemma is what to put on our desks. I spent most of yesterday moving mine and Derek's desks here in the dining room, and now comes the daunting task of deciding what's going back on them. I deliberately put nothing but the peripherals back after the move, and left them like that overnight. It's *very* refreshing to see the desktops for a change. Unfortunately, it's making it hard to put stuff back... oh well.

Tomorrow I will post the pic of benefactor #2. I cast it on last night while I was working on my computer. It's horridly slow, and I was doing all kinds of things to it to try and speed it up. I did manage to get a really good start on the sock at least.