Monday, March 2, 2015

KNITTING

It feels like spring here on Salt Spring right now .... we've had blue skies almost every day, and warm temperatures. Gardeners are gardening, folks are bicycling, and the pink-blossomed trees are everywhere. I love it! Not that we've had a bad winter, because we definitely haven't. As live-aboards, our biggest fear going into winter is always the southeaster windstorms, and there are usually several through the winter months. One of them completely knocked out the marina next to ours a few years ago, and they've never bothered re-building it. There's been only ONE this year, and it wasn't even that bad.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that you can check out this paper I'm working with now... it's called the Islands Marketplace, and if you click on 'current issue' every other Friday, you can read it - you'll find my boating adventures, community photos, and other stories I've written, and get a real sense of life on Salt Spring if it interests you.

Today was our weekly knitting circle here, in Ganges and most of the usual suspects showed up. :) I have cast on for a top-down sweater for myself that looks like it's going to be a fast knit because it's easy, so that's a change (from the ongoing lace shawls...)

I finished a baby blanket test knit last week, too...
That was fun! I also have a commission on the needles ... it's the Aeolian shawl, a very popular free pattern from Knitty. The one I'm doing is black, so it's hard to see (especially during my favorite knitting time, o-dark-thirty in the a.m.), and it has NUPPS ... so it has been a slowwwwwwwwww project.

It's Monday night ... so that means The Voice is on shortly! I don't watch much TV, but that show and American Idol both have me suckered .... um, I mean, interested. :-)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Here I go again....

I'm so sorry you faithful visitors have had to keep looking at that Christmas countdown thingie all this time. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
 
Well, 'the more things change, the more they stay the same....' is my theme now. Not long after I posted about working for Welcome Wagon.... I left that job. I've said it before and I'll say it again .... I'm too entrepreneurial to fit into a corporate 'slot' that dictates my daily routine. I thought that the job would give me a lot of freedom, and it did, initially ... but then things changed. So ... in spite of the fact that I tripled the income to Vancouver Island Welcome Wagon in a mere eight months, and had a blast doing it, I was being pressured to do things in a way that didn't sit well with me - and I'm too old to 'do what I'm told', or else.

So ... still living aboard, still hanging out with the love of my life (who turned 65 a few days ago), still on Salt Spring Island, and still knitting. Life is good! Since we moved here (can you believe it's been nearly 4 years??) I have done some writing for a little local print-edition news-advertiser that comes out every two weeks, so I contacted the woman who owns it just before Christmas. We are currently working out some sort of partnership; not even sure what that looks like yet, but I'm writing, doing some ad sales, doing promo and editing and ... well, 'one day at a time.' 

It's definitely spring on Salt Spring Island already...
I've been spending a lot of time in Victoria lately and the Japanese plum trees are in full bloom already, too. The reason I've been spending time in Victoria is because, on Dec. 30th, while hiking, my son Jason took what he thought was a small jump off a ledge that turned out to be a too-big jump off the ledge ... and broke his right leg/ankle in four places! After emergency surgery on New Year's Day (which made him a 'bionic man' with steel plates and pins and screws and such), he has been pretty much immobilized for the last two months, and has needed the kind of help a mama can provide .... cooking, cleaning, laundry and other assorted errands! It's been fun to help out and to spend time with him. He's a little more mobile now, so he won't need me around quite as much.

I have, foolishly, signed up (again) to NaBloMoPo's March daily writing challenge, so we'll see what happens. The theme is 'News' and I always seem to have some of that, don't I? ;-)

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...