Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaBloPoMo - HA!

See? I never even made it a week with that NaBloPoMo thing!

Oh, well, I've intended to post all day today, and almost went to bed without doing it again.

Michael and I had a great day today, celebrating a couple of pretty important milestones. First of all, it's 36 years ago today that Michael committed to not taking another drink one-day-at-a-time, and he's been sober since that day -- Nov. 9th, 1978.

And then, on his 14th sober birthday, I made a decision to quit smoking (I had been smoking almost 2 packs a day for 25+ years at that point) - so today marks 22 years of being a non-smoker, for me. We took each others' pictures to mark the occasion (in our 'backyard'), and then went out for a cheeseburger.
 


I've been knitting this weekend ... I'm working on a commission for a pair of overalls for a one-year-old boy. I couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I'm combining two different ones with a pinterest photo I liked (talk about eclectic!) and using up some sock yarn and ... so far, so good. Pics tomorrow .... I hope. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Then... and now...

I love Salt Spring Island, I really do. But every now and then I look at downtown Victoria's web-cam -- and then I really miss living there. This is what it looked like this evening...

The dark spot on the right side of the photo is actually the lawn of the world-famous Empress Hotel, and just off the left side of the photo is the legislative buildings - The parliament buildings are all lit up for Christmas by about Dec. 1st, and there's a 100' high evergreen on the lawn that gets lit up, as well - and, in case you can't imagine what it would be like to be a boat on that dock at Christmas time, I'll tell you: it's like living in a Christmas card. Just seeing this scene tonight made me all nostalgic and I start thinking of Christmas!

However, Christmas *is* still almost two months away ... and we'll be in Victoria to celebrate it with the kids and grandkids (just not on that dock!), but meanwhile, here at home .... I finished a Christmas-*looking* project today.

It's a hoodie, without the hoodie, if you know what I mean! It's a commission for someone who lives in a very warm place, so I have no idea what she'll do with it .... but I do know that it was fun to knit!

Off-Island to work for the next three days, so no promises about posting!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two in a row!

It`s been a drizzly Sunday here ... but my days off are so precious now! It`s been an interesting transition to a full-time position, that`s for sure.

I have often joked that, in my adult life, I`ve only had three real jobs - and they all ended badly. I`ve never been good at having `bosses`(doing what I`m told to do hasn`t been a strong point!); I`m such an entrepreneur - and I`ve been so lucky to have had opportunities, either through owning our own small businesses or because of my freelance writing career, to have worked my own hours, from home, as I chose.

That`s somewhat true in this position, as well - I do work from home one or two days a week, generally, and I am left to figure out my own priorities and work schedule. But ... the work has to get done, and it really is more than full-time, so it`s easy to get sucked in to `I`ll just do this one more thing`that stretches into the evening or the weekend. So I`ve learned to stop myself, at LEAST for one full day on the weekend ... put my feet up, drink an extra coffee, start a little fire, and knit, of course!

Hey, here`s one of the tasks that occupied me this summer -- I wanted to decorate the route for the gay pride parade, so I started working on these cuffs several months ago...

There are six, total, 8-ft long cuffs that Michael and I installed at 5:30 a.m. on the day of the parade - it was fun to be part of the day (though anonymously at the time)! I have a whole new idea for next year, too...  :)

A bit of other knitting ...
This was a commissioned shawl for a December wedding with the fingerless gloved to match.
And I`ve test-knit several cowls in the last few months, too - this was one of my favorites, in some hand-spun I had in my stash.

A couple more commissions coming up (baby overalls, times three!) ... and then I can start on my Christmas knitting.

Thanks to all of you who have already commented, or emailed me -- I had no idea I was missed. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NOVEMBER 1st ... or How Did THAT Happen??

UNBELIEVABLE that almost a year has gone by since I posted last!
 

The short story is: I'm fine, Michael's fine, we're well and fat and happy and still sober and still together and still living on the Wind Walker in beautiful Fulford Harbour on beautiful Salt Spring Island. Still loving being grandparents. I'm still knitting. And still working for Welcome Wagon.

Aaaah, but 'there's the rub,' as they say. The one thing that did change drastically on January 1st of this year was my job with Welcome Wagon. I went from happily being the Salt Spring Island 'Rep' for Welcome Wagon .... to becoming Area Manager for all of Vancouver Island-Powell River-Gulf Islands! It's a huge territory, and needless to say, my life has been a whirlwind ever since.

The long story is: my boss approached me in December to see if I was interested in taking over her position when she retired in March. I thought about it for about 60 seconds, and said yes. :) I started training on January 1st by shadowing her (and she lives a ferry ride and then two-hour drive away) from then until March 15th, when I officially took over the job. I put on a LOT of miles in that time! But I also continued to be the Salt Spring presence AND had to train someone to take over that job, too... so it was a pretty crazy couple of months.

And it's kind of been crazy ever since... I'm on the road a lot, and spend a lot of time on ferries and in hotels (hence .... knitting has not suffered). I supervise (and hire and train) up to 30 reps at any given time (so I attend monthly staff meetings all over Vancouver Island, for example) and do sales and ongoing support, etc., as well as 'open' communities that haven't got a WW program yet. But .... it's a salaried position, with an expense account and a commission structure as well -- and no more jeans and t-shirts, I actually have to dress up! --  and I'm loving it!

Some of you are now thinking ... 'What does Michael think of this?' Well, if you know my hubby, you know that he's a 'homebody,' and much more introverted than me. He loves nothing better than to putter around here ... on the boat, doing housework, on the docks, etc. And he loves that I'm still up for some adventure, and that I love coming home and telling him all about whatever I've been up to - he just doesn't want to be the one living it. So it's worked out well for both of us! Besides ... the Wind Walker's engines are below our living room floor, so he can never work on anything when I'm around, anyway ... :)

I lug my laptop with me a lot, too, so theoretically I could still be blogging. The thing is that there is a time difference of 3 hours between where I live here on the west coast, and head office, in Toronto. The office there opens at 7:30 a.m., which is 4:30 a.m. here, and if you've been following my life for awhile, you'd know that I'm often up at that hour -  but now, in the time frame during which I used to blog, I'm now downloading emails, doing research, on the phone to head office, and starting my day, dealing with the daily stuff of whatever's happening throughout my region. The cool thing about that is that I'm often done for the day by 2 pm - but by then I'm too brain-dead to do anything but knit!

So here it is, November .... the month of NaBloPoMo, which I've participated in for the last 3 or 4 years. I'm not sure I'll officially sign up this year, because I'll be very surprised if I can keep up (blogging every day for the whole month) - but I might try, unofficially. So hopefully you'll hear from me a little more often - at least for November!

And next post, I'll even show you some knitting...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sure enough, that whole Christmas thing got away on me, and I got away from blogging!

All of December was wonderful, though ... first of all, we went up to Sri's mountaintop retreat in Parksville for the first time. It's hard to believe that it's been four years since Susan died, and Sri bought this property at the end of that first year -- he's been wanting us to see it since. It was beautiful .... and difficult.

He had to pick us up at the foot of the mountain (a 20-minute drive from Parksville) and take us up in his 4 x 4. That's the Strait of Georgia in the background -- the view was amazing! 


Sri and his new wife Maryann are building a yoga retreat up there -- they've got their cabin done, and one of the 'classrooms.'
This is the path up to the memorial he built for Susan .... it was too cold to walk up there, but maybe if we go back up in the summer, I'll do it.
We spent the night at our favorite motel on the beach, as always - this view will never get old!

I decorated the boat minimally for Christmas ... I went with a 'red' theme. 
I saved my energy and our decorations for the house ... we got to house- and dog-sit for the property owners this year, so I was able to host Christmas in a two-storey, 6-bedroom house! All the kids and grandkids were here for most of the holiday ... it was wonderful. And I was so 'in the moment,' apparently, that I never once took out my camera until they'd all gone! (I'm kicking myself for that now.... but I did get this shot of Ben, the dog, in the spirit of Christmas!)

Everyone liked all their handknit gifts, too, and of course, we ate too much, and had a great time!

The lights will come down tomorrow. I'm ready to be done with Christmas, now. :) Happy New Year, everyone!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

COLD!!

We are having a record cold spell here on the coast right now ... with the wind chill, it's been getting down to -18 at night! That's pretty rare here, and we're feeling it. My computer corner is on the starboard side of the boat, toward the bow .... which means that it faces the 'weather', wind and all; there's an air scoop on the hull right outside my window, too. The result of all this is that it's especially cold to sit at my computer for any length of time right now ... hence, no posts the last few days.

Even this heron was 'hunkering down' to avoid the cold!
 Wanna see that a little closer?
We're off on a little road trip this morning, up to Parksville to a special community Christmas dinner we try to attend every year, and a pre-Christmas visit to my sister Julie and her partner Robert, and our old friend Sri and his new wife, MaryAnn! Home tomorrow....  :)