On The Needles: Sunny Baby Blanket

I’ve started it and am working my knuckles off like crazy!

My new granddaughter’s baby blanket.

Usually I am a yarn snob. I like to work with natural fibres only, no Red Heart for this chick! BUT, the thing of it is…I don’t think any of the mums I knit for, give a rat’s ass about the yarn I use. They just want something that looks good and washes and wears well. A person can buy washable wool with a low itch factor but I haven’t found one that is as soft as I’d like for a baby and I;m certainly not knitting in cashere. SO this time I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and chosen a synthetic yarn that feels SO GOOD!

BERNAT Baby Velvet in Tiny Teal.

Isnt the colour glorious?! Very mermaidy.

This is what I’ve got so far:

I found the pattern for free on Ravelry and it’s super easy and knits up quick. Exactly what this late and lazy Gigi needs. I’m on ball two already and I’m confident I can finish it before the new Bean arrives. You can find the pattern, by Lucie Sinkler – SUNNY BABY BLANKET- < HERE.

Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t suffer a horrific hand accident in the meantime, ha ha. Maybe I should get them insured…do people still do that?

The new Bean has a name now too! Olivia. I’ll be calling her Via. OV and Via.

Speaking of OV:

This kid loves selfies. He especially loves it when you use one of those silly filters that gives you puppy ears and the like. I’m not cool like that but we still managed to get a pretty good photo together anyway!

Love the heck out of this boy ❤

Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

Much LOVE and SQUISHY HUGS to YOUUUUU ❤

Red Swan Pizza Review

There’s a new pizza place in town and I keep seeing their ads and then I got ahold of their menu and knew I had to give them a try! Red Swan Pizza.

They have such offerings as: Spicy Paneer “Spicy Cottage Cheese, Onion, Green Peppers, Tomato, Jalapeno, Pizza Sauce And Mozzarella Cheese ” and Butter Chicken “Butter Chicken, Onions, Green Peppers, Pizza Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese” and Tandoori Chicken ” Tandoori Chicken, Mushrooms, Red Onions, Green Peppers, Pizza Sauce, Jalapeno & Mozzarella Cheese” amongst just a few!

This time the Hubs and I chose a Hawaiian for him and the Coriander Chili Chicken for me. Mine was described as having fresh green coriander, marinated chicken, onion, green pepper and mozza cheese.

I was super excited to give it a try! (And super hungry too which is why I didn’t take any photos of the whole pie, ha ha ) But when it came … right away I could tell things were off. It just looked like one big red mass on top of one very thin crust.

Ok, fine. Not everything is going to look beautiful. And yes, while the photos on their website and flyer menu are so inviting, we all know the reality can be different, right?

We both dove right in anyway and it took about three bites before I started to get any flavour in mine.

“Meh” was my assessment. There was absolutely nothing special about it. I actually felt ripped off. The chicken tasted off. Not… bad, just off. Like chicken you’d get in a frozen meal. It had that taste and texture. There was absolutely NO fresh coriander anywhere to be seen or taste and while the sauce the chicken was in, was barely warm -in the spicy sense- there was no sign of chili, either. I was SO disappointed! This could have been such a great pie! The idea is a great one ( and I’m going to make my own just so I can experience it how I want it to be) but it was very, very, VERY poorly executed.

The Hub’s Hawaiian pizza was much the same. Underwhelming. The ham was just lardons of fat and the pineapple were dried out shards of no substance. And , in what I think was the worst crime of it all : both pies were really skimpy on the cheese. Not cool man! Especially when we paid 42 dollars for two pies!

One thing I did like: The sesame seeds on the edge of the crust. That was an interesting twist.

All in all, I would not order from them again.

A person would be better off to go to Pizza 73.

Hell, a person would be better of to go to Little Caesar’s and get one of their Hot and Ready Pies.

And that’s all I have to say about that!

In Sync

In my quest to suffer less from a wonky seasonal brain, I’ve become very aware of the seasons and how they change.

( Although to be fair, I am an Earth Child anyway )

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

A few Winters ago, I realized that while we count the Solstice as the beginning of Winter, it really wasn’t, seasonally speaking. Solstice is when the light comes back and we begin our slow climb back to Spring. It just didn’t make sense to me that Winter began then, when we were returning to the light… it seemed Winter began much earlier!

Anyone who lives in a Northern climate knows this, even if they don’t KNOW they know this. We know that snow before Halloween is light and impermanent. It’s not going to stick around long. But snow after Halloween is a different story! That’s the stuff that stays, along with the much colder temperatures. After Halloween is when weather gets real. November 1 felt like the true start of Winter to me.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

Once I learned this for myself, I started to question the other seasonal discrepancies. Spring starts at the Equinox, right? Sometime in mid March.

Well, if you’re paying attention you may notice Spring in the sky at the beginning of February instead.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

How about Summer? June 21 is the Solstice…BUT it always felt like Summer in late April/early May. Right around May 1!

Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

The Solstice is the mid point of Summer. The days start their descent into darkness. How can any of us call this the beginning?!

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

When did you notice Fall this year? For me, it was in the end of July. But the Equinox and start of the season isn’t until mid September! Doesn’t the Equinox really feel like the middle of Fall? We’ve all “called” Fall, well before the Equinox!

Photo by hiwa talaei on Pexels.com

Our calendar doesn’t match up with reality. No wonder I feel so discombobulated! I’ve been out of sync with Nature for most of my life!

I came across an excellent piece that finally put all the pieces together for me. The author puts into words all the things I’ve noticed and reading it was clarifying! Way more cohesive than my jumbly observations. Written by Hyggejem on their blog – How to hygge the British Way- this FABULOUS post, tied it all together. Humans have been noticing these things too and celebrating them, most differently than we do currently, since forever! Go and have a read. I hope it resonates with you too!

I’m changing the way I mark the seasons now too. This appeals to my witchy self of course but mostly, it just feels right. More in tune with reality. In sync.

How about you? What do you think?

F*ck Up Friday – The Scowl.

I have a long and storied past when it comes to neighbours and while this isn’t the worst street I’ve lived on, problem neighbours still abound.

The cop killer/armed robber/ heroin addict. ( Who died. Right across the street. From an over dose. Thirty days after being released from prison. Awaiting trial for new charges of armed robbery)

The family next door who expected we’d all be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!11 but then told anyone who would listen that we were unfriendly simply because we kept to ourselves and then accused us of being racist. All the while asking extremely nosy questions about our finances and life AS well as unabashedly trying to look in our windows to snoop.

And then these guys- the assholes who have outdoor parties ALL SUMMER LONG, from Tuesday to Saturday and blast awful music on their outdoor speakers accompanied by out of key sing -alongs.

About a month ago, it looked like they were moving! I didn’t get my hopes up because I’d thought this before. They’re the type who have friends and relatives moving in and out all the time. One never really knows who hell lives there at any one time.

But then one day, POOF, they were all gone. And the home’s owner was there doing work and contractors were brought in and my hopes and dreams for one quiet evening in my meditation garden came back to life!

Until a familiar black SUV pulled up, and an old familiar face came walking up the sidewalk with a box in his arms.

FUCK!

I was just stepping out onto my porch and my heart sank when I realized what was up. I stood there, openly scowling with a mix of disbelief, horror and open animosity.

Well. They must have felt my rage and before I could conceal my true emotions, they looked up, right at me, glaring away at them. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Oh boy.

Caught in the act!

I kind of feel like an asshole but also kind of not. I stand by my feelings.

I am more concerned that I’m losing my filter. That’s the REAL fuck up.

Oops.

Have you ever had a moment of unfiltered honesty? Or do you have a firm hold on your emotional reactions no matter what?

Save on Foods- Online Shopping and Home Delivery Service.

A while back, the Hubs had to go out of town for the weekend and I had OV for a sleepover. This meant our usual routine was going to all messed up and getting groceries was going to be a bit of a pain in the arse.

What to do? What to do? I could walk up to the store and just buy what I needed for the weekend. I could do a regular shop and catch a cab home. OR I could use the grocery services our store offers and write about our experience here!

We shop all over the place but decided to use Save On Foods this time because their customer service is second to none.

You can shop right online, from their website- Save-On-Foods– but first you have to make an account for yourself.

This turned into a bit of a thing because I didn’t have the proper number on the back of my Save On More Card. _it’s 25 years old!- Once I got through to someone at Customer Service, it went smoothly enough and soon I was all set up and ready to shop from a store that offers the service, closest to me. (Not all of them do. You might not get your favourite store)

At first I was MOST FRUSTRATED because I was shopping via each section and I just wasn’t finding the things I had on my list. I quickly figured out it was way easier to type in what I wanted directly into the search bar. That sped things up and I eventually found most of what I was looking for.

After I got a few items in my cart, I was prompted to reserve a delivery slot and informed I only had so much time to complete my shopping. I think it was a two hour window. It only took me about an hour and that was only because there was a bit of a learning curve. So I reserved my slot, continued on and was delighted to find I could even shop directly from their online flyer! How cool it that!?

You’re shopping from an actual store, not a warehouse so some things are not always going to be available. For me that was miso and zucchini (but I managed to find a decent zuke in the garden and worked in a field trip to T&T supermarket with OV for miso, so it was all good) You can also state your preference and leave notes for your shopper. I chose to click that substitutions were ok with me, because I thought it’d be fun to see what another person thought was a good substitute. There ended up being no substitutions. I think I’ll keep doing that. The driver told me that’s the best way to do it unless you have food restrictions or allergies. It ensures you get the things you need. (SO long as you’re not a major hard ass about stuff, I guess)

After reviewing my cart, I paid for the groceries via credit card- you can use your visa debit too- and that was that. All I had to do was wait for delivery.

You’re given a window of time and the driver will call you 15 mins before they arrive. If it’s your first time with them, you’ll have to show ID too.

The driver did all that and then carried the bags up to the door to me. ( You can request no bags, which I will do next time) I’m sure if I’d needed help, he would have brought them directly in. I have dogs and people issues so that’s always going to be a “No Thanks” for me. ( At least until not given the choice. ) Save On Foods employees are not allowed to accept tips. Just know that to save yourself some awkwardness. He explained a few things to me and then went on to continue with his day and I spent 10 mins unpacking my groceries, feeling quite pleased with myself and the whole thing.

It felt like Christmas because I’d kinda forgotten what I’d bought so it was a fun exercise to open each bag, ha!

All in all I would do it again. It was pretty much painless and the service was excellent. Would it replace my weekly shopping trip? Not until it had to. I like shopping and I find the act of going up and down the aisle triggers memories in me of things I forget on my list, ha ha. BUT the other side of that is that I didn’t spend a lot of extra money on things I don’t need, things that catch my eye..so there’s that!

Your first delivery is free and then there is a fee, depending on where you are from the store. Mine would have been about $7.00 which is completely reasonable. Don’t tell them, but I would pay a whole lot more than that for the service. 🙂 I highly recommend!

Monday Ramble, Autumn, Earth & Farming.

Happy Monday! And Happy Mid- Autumn! While the rest of those in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating the start of Fall, those of us in the know and anyone paying attention, realize today is actually, truly, really the middle of the season. More on this in another post!

Hermit mode: Activated!

The dying light is having its usual effect on my brain but I’m doing pretty good all things considering. How are you doing?

I’ve got some Halloween decorations up and that’s really helping my mood. I ADORE Halloween. We don’t get many kids but still, I want to keep the tradition alive for the ones who want it. Plus, Halloween decorations match my home décor, so it’s like I’m giving my house a whole refresh too!

What? You don’t keep up your owls, spiders and tombstones year round?

I’m all excited because the Hubs- who has been home ALL LAST WEEK- is back off to work. It was nice to operate at a slower pace but it’s also nice to go back to my usual routine. I did somehow score a HUGE win out of things; he’s onboard with trying snowshoeing this Winter. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! This man hates hiking and while in the spirit of honesty I pointed out that snowshoeing was really just hiking on extra equipment he’s pshawed me away and said he’s “in” so…yeah, I’m holding him to that!

I may just get him into thru hiking yet!

If there’s anything left to hike through.

WORD!

But then there’s this to worry about:

I mean, it’s not a lie.

Have a great week ❤

Curiosity Conditioning Program: Four Week Update.

I’ve completed four whole weeks of my conditioning program for “PCT 2023? ” and wanted to share my results thus far!

Harken back to > this post < for more info.

Sooooo, I’ve failed. Kind of.

I was supposed to hike 5 miles, three days a week and see how that felt before moving my miles up to 6. Take it slow and easy BUT somehow I ended up hiking six miles, some of the time anyway! Here are my stats:

Week 1. 4.61 miles @ 1 hr and 35 mins. . 5.23 miles @ 1 hr and 36 mins. . 5.08 miles @ 1 hr and 58 mins.

Week 2. 6.24 miles @ 2 hrs. 5.35 @ 1 hr and 52 mins. 6.17 miles @ 2 hrs 4 mins.

Week 3. 4.23 miles @ 2 hrs 36 mins. 5.87 miles @ 1 hr and 57 mins. 5.76 miles @ 2 hrs and 4 mins.

Week 4. 4.36 miles @ 1 hr and 38 mins. 6.31 miles @ 2 hrs and 18 mins. 8.18 miles @ 2 hrs and 38 mins! ( So proud of this one!)

It’s just the way it worked out! I wasn’t trying to go over 5 miles and I was especially not trying to go EIGHT MILES but somehow my curiosity led me down a street or two and the miles just added up.

How do I feel?

Great! STRONG! My body is hardening up. I’m recovered nicely by the next day. Not hobbling around. I haven’t injured myself and my normal pace is on par with the average person at 2 miles an hour. So not as out of shape as I thought I was. On my last walk I was playing around with speed and managed to walk @ 3 miles an hour which is FAST! But not really sustainable in the long term at this point. I’d be super happy to even out at 2.5 miles an hour with a full pack.

What have I learned these past four weeks?

  1. A mile is a hell of a lot longer than a kilometre, ha! BUT 6.2 miles is 10 KM which sounds really rad.
  2. Food is your friend. A simple snack at around 3 miles can really perk a person up.
  3. You MUST stretch both BEFORE and AFTER. Stretching makes such a huge difference in both performance and recovery. Here is a link to the stretches I’ve found most helpful.
  4. Try and lay down with your feet up above your heart for 10 mins after your hikes, especially if you have circulation problems. This will help with leg heaviness.
  5. Train with a pack. In the beginning it doesn’t have to be your full pack. Just throw in your water, a jacket and some snacks for now. I learned that training with my pack encourages me to be more mindful of my posture which in turn helps to prevent injury and ensures I’m hiking efficiently. For more tips on posture check out the book – Chi Walking– by Katherine and Danny Dreyer. An excellent resource. I use their tips ALL the time with much comfort and success.
  6. You’re not just training your body you’re training your mind and your mind can be the trickiest bastard of them all. Watch your thoughts. Listen to what they have to say and them pick the best ones that will help you meet your goal. Be consistent with this, you’re building resiliency. When I hiked the Inka Trail, I was so surprised to find the real challenge of the hike was mostly mental!
  7. A person can use every condition, be it weather, a shitty attitude, your own forgetfulness, navigation mistakes etc. etc. as a training tool. Forgot your water in your rush out the door? Guess now you get to experience what it’s like to hike in the heat, thirsty! Turned the wrong way and now you have to backtrack 2 miles? This will happen to you on the trail, how are you going to react and how are you going to manage this problem? Cold and pouring rain? Are you going to stay home or are you going to get out there discover how it feels to hike in the wet and cold?! Use every opportunity as a training tool. I’m SO excited for the ice and the cold and the snow this year! Crazy right, especially considering this is ME talking. I’m just so curious to see how I do because this will give me better insight into how I will manage hiking through the scary Sierra Nevada. Put yourself out there in these situations while you have the privilege of comfort in your everyday life!
  8. Reward yourself! Celebrate your successes! Bring snacks you LOVE to eat and use them as encouragement for miles completed. Give yourself a treat for meeting your goals once you complete them. I’m going to enjoy some sushi and tempura today to celebrate the end of week four. Have some fun with your training.

What’s next? I’m upping my miles to 6 officially. I’m going to hit up different terrain ( if I can avoid the sexual assailant in the river valley) and I’m going to keep working on my attitude as we move into the colder, wetter weather. OH, I’m going to add some weight too. I’m thinking 5lbs.

I’m no closer to deciding whether or not I’m actually going to hike the PCT in 2023 but I am feeling very hopeful and relieved that thus far, this body and mind are working well. Plus, after a year and 5 months of not working, it feels GREAT to have a purpose and focus again ❤

How about you? Do you have anything you’re looking toward?

Do you have any training and conditioning tips you’d add to these?

I’m all ears! ❤