Sunday, 28 July 2013

My weekend in photos


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Energy exchange

I went to a meetup, my second in a "Spiritual Explorers" group. I'd never been to an energy exchange before. Basically, we all took turns lying on a massage table and everyone else practised on the person on the table. Each session was 10 minutes, to give everyone a chance.

I was all wound up from frustrating traffic on the way there, so I volunteered to go on the table first. I was very blissed out when my 10 minutes were up.

I didn't mention that I had a sore neck today, because I wanted to know if anyone would pick it up. Two people did - one of them being new to reiki, like me. She was thrilled to hear that there was a reason why she was drawn to pay attention to my neck.

It was very, very interesting and educational. With one woman, my hands were like magnets drawn to her left hip and knee. She'd kept her eyes closed throughout; when her ten minutes were up she said she hadn't know that her left knee was bothering her until someone paid attention to it.

I'm going back next week. :-)

Gardening update - flowers!

I snapped a few pictures between work and a meetup.

This is one of my green zebra tomato plants, in a pot used last year. Not only is the pot sprouting a few petunias from last year's plants ...

... there is another johnny jump-up baby!

This container was planted with morning glories and poppies. It was painful to thin out the poppy seedlings but it had to be done. As you can see, the morning glories are snaking upwards.

And here is the first poppy!

For a friend's request, here is a side view of Charlie's play pen (empty).

Gardening update - Attack of the Snow Peas

The snow peas are insane. They're flowering, they're sprouting, they can barely be contained as they reach for the sky, and clasp onto the tall hedge mustard between them and the fence.


Resistance is futile.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Radishes by angelamermaid
Radishes, a photo by angelamermaid on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I grew quite a lot of radishes in my community garden plot. So much that I had to pickle most of the harvest. They are yummy!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Ah, Banff

Friday, 19 July 2013

New on Zazzle

Here are some new products on Zazzle!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Knit for flood relief!

Tonight in my stitching group, a couple of the ladies shared a pattern for a cowl. All proceeds go to the Red Cross flood relief fund.

Even though I've been avoiding all patterns that call for a cable ... I'm diving in and doing it with them. Susan has promised that cables are easy and she'll teach me. She's been a very good teacher so far.

The Hell or High Water pattern.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Darkening sky

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Things I Have Learned Recently

Apparently I have an inner foodie

I decided to try a recipe from Facebook, titled Coconut Custard Pie. I chose coconut milk for the milk, and substituted coconut flour for all-purpose flour.

I ended up with coconut cake. I went back onto Facebook and the picture with the recipe looks like cake. So, I guess my substitutions weren't to blame. But I found the cake a little dry, considering that I'd been expecting custard. I decided I should make a sauce to go with it.

I looked up a gluten-free recipe for caramel sauce and picked up ingredients while out and about. That's when it hit me - I never considered just buying caramel sauce. That's where I think I might evolving into a foodie. 

The caramel sauce was easy to make and is yummy.

That tall mystery plant in my backyard is not goldenrod

It's a tall hedge mustard. One of the ladies in my stitching group identified it from a photo. The flowers smell flowery, not mustardy. Some websites call it a wildflower, some call it a weed.

Snow peas like to reach out and grab everything but the numerous stakes and sticks I've put out for them

If they have to, they'll grab onto a stick. But they really like grabbing onto each other, nearby blades of grass, nearby pots of herbs, and tall hedge mustards. I've started clipping branches off of the tall hedge mustard before the snow peas drag it down and cover it.

That's not moss, that's thyme

Bit by bit, I'm introducing moss and thyme into the garden. For interesting textures, and as part of the fairy/rock garden evolving in the shady section. Irish moss has been transplanted around the stepping stone my sister made for me. Scotch moss is in the fairy garden.

I bought wooly thyme last weekend. Today, I was cutting some long grass in the shady section with clippers. Underneath the grass was ... thyme. Wooly thyme. Conveniently, right next to the fairy garden, so it will be incorporated with it. Last year, I thought it was moss. This year, I know what it is. It must be from someone who lived here before.

Johnny Jump-Ups love to jump

I found some growing amongst my periwinkle. Pretty! And according to Wikipedia they are also called heartsease.

I should give up on growing sweet peas in clay pots

They thrive better in plastic pots, where the soil doesn't dry out so quickly.

My stitching meetup group continues to be awesome

This week, I learned how to cast on longtail style, and how to knit in the round. The ladies are very eager to answer my questions and to show me. Which is a lot easier than trying to figure those things out from YouTube videos.

Labyrinths continue to be cool

I hosted a meetup by the Silver Springs Labyrinth, for the ladies of the stitching group. Only one showed up, but she loved it.

This was my third time walking it. It was astonishing how quickly the cosmos gave me an answer that allowed a bunch of mental puzzle pieces to suddenly click into place.

The pleasures of an open kitchen window

When I bought the house, the screen for the kitchen window was down in the basement. I couldn't figure out how to install it. I installed the screen door for the patio door and that was good enough. I never opened the kitchen window, because I didn't want bugs to fly in, and for ginger cats to jump out.

When all of the windows were replaced in March, the kitchen window got a screen. But I didn't open it.

If I'm going upstairs to do something, I don't like leaving the patio door open with just a screen, it doesn't feel safe. After I hung a suncatcher outside, I realized the solution - open the kitchen window! Fresh air while feeling more secure. And the curtains I made flutter in the breeze and look pretty.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Heat Wave

First it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. I didn't keep track, but it sure felt like it.

Then came the floods. Fear of the unknown. Would my basement flood? Did I stock the fridge with enough water? Am I on the same power grid as the evacuated parts of Deer Run? Do I have candles and a lighter in a central location? Would I have to evacuate? (No. Yes. No. Yes. No.)

I have never in my life seen so many emergency alerts on TV. None of them were a test.

There was the horror and sadness. I've seen floods on TV before. I've seen the annual floods in New Brunswick. But I have never seen Calgary flood like this. The train tracks for my daily commute buckled and the tunnels filled with water.

I am one of the lucky ones. I can stay in my home with my cats. We are safe.

Water restrictions went into place. Quick showers. Trying to use disposable plates and cups and cutlery to avoid using the dishwasher.

The uncertainty of working from home. Am I doing okay?

And then days without rain. I watered the garden with rainwater from those 40 days and 40 nights. I'm almost out.

Today the temperature rose to 36 degrees Celsius. (97 degrees Fahrenheit). Felt higher, with the humidity. It's been a long time since I've had to deal with such hot and humid conditions. I used the timer on my phone to remind me to drink a full glass of water every hour.

The cats were limp. I found Hermione huddled up against the cold air vent in the living room while Chloe slept upstairs and looked miserable. Charlie was subdued.

None of them seemed to want to go into the basement, Charlie and Hermione wanted to stay in my vicinity.

The mayor asked people to reduce their power usage ASAP as rolling blackouts had to be initiated.

So I grabbed some catnip, some cat beds, and some blankets. I went down into the basement and rubbed catnip on the bedding. Charlie and Hermione came down first. I tried to catch Chloe but she wouldn't let me. She came down on her own.

I turned on one light and started organizing the basement a little better. When the cats were looking perkier, I turned off the light and brought out the laser pointer. We had fun playing Red Dot of Doom.

I didn't do any gardening until 9:30, when it was cool enough to be bearable. I sprayed myself with Off and got to work. I'm going to lose some of the sweet peas to the heat and lack of rain.

Now we're under alert for a severe thunderstorm. High water alerts have been issued for places north of Calgary.

There have been good moments. My sister came to Calgary this weekend to be my guest at a coworker's wedding. I got to practise some reiki on Mary-Anne and she loved it. We had a great time at the wedding and reception. It was the first time I'd seen my coworkers since the flooding started.

The next day, I took her to the labyrinth in Silver Springs. I walked behind her. I noticed at one point she paused to look at a dark butterfly.

Afterwards, she hugged me and told me that she thinks the butterfly was our father, that he was happy to see the two of us together. She said that black butterflies are meant to represent souls of the dead. I thought it was pretty.

Now I'm tired and sweaty and covered in dirt and Off. Time for a quick shower before bed.  I want my normal back.