Easter away

We went back to Minden for Easter.

It was a nice break from Ottawa and all the stupid stuff going on here. Not that I can completely escape it, but you know, getting out of the city helps to add some perspective on things.

We had a good visit with my parents in Minden, and the weather was pleasant enough. We rented a car to get up there, since ours died recently. I got to see this little guy, Pups. His age is definitely showing, but for 14, I think he’s still going fairly strong.

Isn’t he a funny little guy? I miss Pups already.

Bo had a great time running around my parents’ house and back yard. He got along with Pups much better than he did at Christmas.

I just realized now that I didn’t take a whole lot of bloggable pictures while I was home. (Oops.) I think that means it was a good visit.

Crispin Glover at the Mayfair Theatre

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for ages now.  A while ago, January 27th & 28th, actor, author, and filmaker Crispin Glover was in Ottawa at the Mayfair Theatre. I’ve been a fan of his work since I was about 14, so I had to go. We attended both days, so we had the pleasure of seeing his slideshow/reading/performance, saw both his films (What is it?  and It is Fine. Everything is Fine!) and met him! It was pretty cool. He also did a q & a after the films, and it was probably the most detailed q & a I’ve ever attended. He’s very thorough, and apparently some people don’t like that, but I thought it was pretty solid. He tells you a lot about his films and his process and I think that’s important, since some of his films can be difficult to digest. That’s why he tours with his films, and why you can’t get them on DVD. It works well for him.

And I found out Crispin Glover is a raw vegan. Or at least that’s what he said. And I found this instantly endearing. It makes perfect sense that he’s a raw vegan.

He was also really nice. He took time to talk to us and answer our dumb questions.  And he shook my hand twice and signed my books.

If he brings his tour near you, please go see it! You’ll feel good knowing that he’s out there doing this neat weird stuff. I know I do.

Knitting… I remember that

Busy busy!

Remember when this used to be a knitting blog? Yeah. Me too. I swear it still is a knitting blog. It’s just kind of being eclipsed by current goings-on. This is post is about knitting, so stay with me here.

I first need to tell you about The Littlest Bobo. He is doing well. Yeah, he’s accumulating some dumb nicknames, but I didn’t name him “Bo” and it’s not my fault it rhymes with a lot of stuff. As I write this, he’s passed out on the couch beside me. He had his neutering stitches out on Monday, and the vet said it healed up nicely. Bo was really good about wearing the head “cone”, and we were very cognizant of any attempts at licking/chewing of stitches, so that’s probably why. He hated that cone at first, but by the last few days he was actually helping us put it on him by pushing his head through the hole. Especially before bed – it became a bit of a ritual and he got some late-night snacks out of the deal. Luckily, he seems to respond really well to positive reinforcement. Or maybe he’s just awesome, I don’t know.

There is one thing… he can be annoying when I’m knitting. He loves to grab balls of yarn and run around like a crazy dog. It is HILARIOUS to him. I’ve packed everything away so he can’t eat any yarn or get into trouble with it, but it kind of sucks not being able to sit on the couch and just knit away. Baby steps, I guess. My parents’ dogs went through that phase (i.e. puppyhood) where they chewed everything and wanted to play with everything, but eventually they chilled out. Or at least they figured out it’s better to chew on toys & treats, and there’s no shortage of those around here. Like everything, I just need to give it time. He’s still a little dude.

In the meantime, I’ve invested in one of these GoKnit pouches by KnowKnits, a small one in Navy, and it helps a bit. Bo’s not as interested in my knitting if he can’t see a ball of yarn moving around. Also, I’m only attempting to knit when he’s really tired or acting chilled out already. There isn’t a lot of holiday knitting happening, but luckily, I think most of my gifts have already been taken care of. It’s under control… I think.

Prince at Scotiabank Place, Ottawa

We went to see Prince last night at Scotiabank Place here in Ottawa. Part of his “Welcome 2 Canada” tour. I’m so tired and sore today from dancing for 2+ hours, but what can you do? It was worth it. I never thought I’d get to see him live.

I’d post some photos from the show, but we weren’t supposed to take any. I took some, but I’ll be a good girl and not post them here.

Prince and his band were amazing. Very tight, very visually entertaining. He always has women musicians in his band, and that’s awesome. They played pretty much every song I wanted to hear. Some were part of medleys, which was ok with me. I’d rather they play a few verses of a song than not play it at all. Purple Rain was played in full (of course) and it was fantastic (of course). When they shot purple & gold glitter (see above pic) out near the end of the song, it was pretty much perfect.

Shockingly, they did several encores. As the last encore started, we ditched our seats and ran up next to the stage, as Prince suggested. That was pretty sweet. We were right up with the people who paid $500 for VIP tickets. We danced around with a bunch of other folks who were similarly into it.

And yeah… if I had one complaint, it would be that the audience kinda sucked. I think it’s an Ottawa thing, to be honest. I’ve noticed it at Bluesfest before, mostly in bigger venues. No energy. Just kinda phoning it in, if they’re into it at all. All take, no give. When Prince tried to get people to sing along, it was almost dead. Half the audience seemed to just sit down and wait before the band came back for encores. Some left. It’s like they don’t know how concerts work. Like when Prince said everyone should come up to the “dance floor” in front of the stage, we were the only ones in our row to go! It was truly bizarre.

Anyhow, other than that, it was pretty decent. Prince knows how to put on a show.

Special Announcement!

We have added a new member to our family!

His name is Bo!

He’s almost 5 months old.

We adopted him on the 22nd of October, which explains my blogging-absence.

He’s a cross between a Dachshund and (we think) a Jack Russell terrier. He looks a lot like a long, weenie-like Jack Russell. And pictures of Jackhunds look bang-on.

We adopted him from a family who could no longer care for him because they had a new baby. We’ve been thinking of getting a dog for a while now, and always hesitating because we didn’t want to pay a ridiculous amount from a breeder. Also, we definitely didn’t want to get one from a pet store. Ideally, I’ve always wanted to adopt a dog from the Humane Society, but this was the next best thing. His owner was a friend of a friend, and we were helping them out and getting a pretty cool dog in the process. Win-win.

He’s a crazy little puppy guy right now. He chews on everything, and that’s been difficult to get used to. He has sharp little puppy teeth and he’s teething now. I can’t wait for that to end. He came house-trained, so that’s half the battle. He’s good at sleeping in his crate at night. He can sit, stay, come, and lie down on command, when he’s got the right motivation (i.e. treats). He’s not fixed yet, but that’s coming at the end of the month. He’s getting used to us, and we’re getting used to him. It’s pretty cool.

Kiki is getting used to him too, but that’s another blog post altogether.


Going Vegetarian

I am proud to be taking part in Blog Action Day OCT 16 2011 www.blogactionday.org

I signed up for Blog Action Day again this year. I think this is my 3rd year, at least.

This year’s topic is FOOD, something I’ve probably spent way too much time thinking about over my lifetime.

I don’t think I’ve ever been happy with my relationship with food. I think I eat too much crap. I don’t eat healthy enough. I eat too much. I eat take-out too often and don’t cook enough. I throw away & waste too much. These are all things that bug me, but nothing really bothers me as much as eating animals does.

I’ve always felt strongly for animal rights. The charities I regularly donate to are all animal charities. I cry whenever I see those ads from the Humane Society or WSPA. I feel outraged whenever cases of animal cruelty hit the news. A film or tv show or book pretty much loses me when someone is depicted purposely hurting or killing an animal. It really bothers me. However, I haven’t been able to remain a vegetarian.

I’m trying to figure out why.

As a teenager, I was vegetarian for a few years. I managed to go vegan for a while too. I even was a raw vegan for a brief period. My parents hated it, but eventually stopped complaining. Not paying for my food at home & having a great kitchen, I could be creative and always had food around. Or I could add things to my parents shopping list and they’d grab it for me.  I realize now how lucky I was, and I think that’s why I could do it.

Then, when I moved out of the house and went to university and had to fend for myself, I got lazy. I lived with shitty roommates who didn’t clean the tiny kitchen, and I got busy, and it was easier to just go get take-out. I think that’s when I really fell off the wagon. Most take-out wasn’t vegetarian, and I just kinda went with it. I had other stuff going on.

Even though I let it slide, it still bugged me, though not enough to give up the convenience and taste. There was an underlying feeling of “wrongness” to it, and I couldn’t shake it. My actions didn’t agree with what I actually believed in. I found it hard to eat meat that looked or felt particularly animal-like, like any bone-in meats or anything with visible tendons or skin. If it still had a head on it – forget it. So even when I was a not-so-picky omnivore, I was still uncomfortable enough to avoid some animal products. But, I was too lazy (or whatever) to give it up completely.

Now that I’m out of school, have my own place, and have different priorities, I find myself bothered again by not being vegetarian. I recently read the book Eating Animals, and a lot of it hit home. I’m not stupid – I KNOW how gross factory farming is, I know how awful it is to animals, and it bothers me, but it comes down to making the effort.

I think going vegetarian would address a lot of other food issues for me:

  • I’d eat less take-out, since most of the take-out I eat contains animal products.
  • I’d be forced to slow down and cook my own meals, since I wouldn’t be ordering-in anymore.
  • I’d pay more attention to what I’m eating, what’s in it, and whether it is healthy or not.
  • I’d hopefully save money, since meat is expensive.

And most importantly, I wouldn’t have that nagging feeling of going against what I believe in for the sake of saving time or “going with the flow”.

I think it’s worth trying again.


Thanksgiving in Minden

We went back to Minden to see my parents for this year’s Thanksgiving. It was pretty much a perfect Fall weekend.

Here’s a picture of the beautiful Gull River, just down the road from our house.

So many things to be grateful for this year…

For health, physical & mental health, or whatever we can get. It’s been a rough year for health of all kinds, for several of us.

For friends and family, since I never seem to spend enough time with my parents, or my brother. My brother is still in BC, but at least we spoke with him on Skype.

For our little friends, specifically my aging doggies that live with my parents, Pups and Scarlet.

For this unbelievably gorgeous weather we had this weekend. How lucky are we, really?

These are some flowers in my mom’s garden. Even with a couple frosts, they’ve kept on going. Tons of buds still coming. It’s kind of amazing.

Our weekend was spent outside having bonfires, walking the dogs, soaking up the sun, and doing a few outdoor chores. We also spent some time inside, watching films, cooking, eating, chatting, and otherwise relaxing. It was pretty great.  I even taught my mom how to use her new e-reader!

The leaves in Minden were almost “done” – that is, the reds and oranges were pretty much down, but the browns and yellows were still kicking. I think they would have been better last weekend. Oh well. There seemed to be more colour on the drive between Ottawa and Minden. The picture above was taken from the car window, probably getting close to Renfrew. I guess Minden has a shorter season than Ottawa.

Anyhow,  I’m very thankful for weekends like this past one. I hope yours was good too.

Crazy Pups says hello…

Easter Weekend in Minden

We took a trip up to Minden on the weekend, to see my parents and the doggies. It was a pretty chill weekend, spent watching movies, knitting, playing outside, and generally relaxing. No complaints.

My two dogs are so old now. The trip really felt like it could be the last time I see them. They’re 15 and 14, I believe. We had a scare earlier this month, and thought we would have to get them put down. Scarlet is definitely in rougher shape than Pups, but hopefully they’ll have a few more relatively pain-free months left. That’s all we really want – them to be comfortable. There’s nothing worse than seeing an old dog suffering. Anyhow, here’s a few photos from the weekend.

Scarlet (top) and Pups.

While we were in the front yard, down by the river, we found a wild turkey feather. No turkey attached at the time, thankfully. They have so many wild turkeys there now. I guess they were reintroduced to the area, and they kinda went nuts. I don’t think I ever saw any wild turkeys in Minden when I was growing up.

And one last thing…  We went for a walk down the road, and found a bright pink plastic Easter Egg in the ditch. The road is really rural, just fields and a river along one side, so a bright pink egg was definitely out of place. I guess it was the weekend to find one. That’s Scarlet checking it out in the photo.  The egg seemed to have something in it, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to open a strange ditch egg.

Hope you all had a good Easter!

Travelling socks

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend in Minden. Saw some folks I haven’t seen in a long time, ate some good food, played with some cute doggies, and relaxed. It was pretty awesome.

I also did a lot of knitting. I knit in the car on the way there, and then whenever I had a free minute while watching movies with the folks. In fact, I did so much knitting that I broke a Knitpicks.com circular needle. The cord just popped right out. I think I can glue it back in myself, but it’s worth mentioning. I’ve used their needles for years now and this is the first problem I’ve had! I had been using that needle for the magic-loop method of circular knitting, so maybe all that loopin’ was stressing it out.

Annnnyhow, here’s the socks. I started them way back in August, on our last trip to Minden. Here’s a pic from then…

And now!

A finished pair of socks, 9 floors above the city of Ottawa.

They’re made from Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton Multiringel (100g), but I can’t remember the colourway number. It’s almost half cotton, so it’s a nice change from heavy wool sock yarn. The pattern, as always, is a simple toe-up job that I alter to fit my feet as I go. Knit using the magic-loop method on one circular needle. I like the way these turned out!

I’ll post some more on the trip to Minden in a few days!