Monday, June 16, 2008

Bench-racing, Bootles and KIP

So: where did you KIP on Saturday? KIP? You know: Knit In Public??? I don't remember where I KIP last year: it may have been at work but the year before is indelible: ICU at KGH and it was right before I yelled at the anaesthesiologist, the orthopod, and the respirologist about the lack of co-ordination in my Darling Man's care. Cutbacks in hospital care dollars, I hates 'em!!

So... where was I KIP on Saturday? At a gathering of the motorcycle tribe known as "The Not Mara Lake Rally" held this year in beautiful Crawford Bay, BC (home of this and this and this) as well as being on one of the most beatiful motorcycling roads in the province. (don't click on the link if you get motion sick!) This particular branch of the tribe of motorcyclists is a bit out there: average age is getting closer to that of pensioner, the newest of the bikes was born in 1955 which makes for lots of possibilities for things to go amiss due the vagaries of age (humans and machines having that commonality). The Sr Boy had his share of "amisses" and our machine provided lots of parking lot mechanic opportunities and subsequent stories over the years.

That was not my job this year: Agnes-the-RAV being a well-behaved 4-wheeler and 50 years younger was quite useful for sheltering people from the Friday downpour and portering back the guts and garters of an engine on its way to the Wizards of Wancouver who will work their particular brand of make-it-go magic upon it. I came home with some +mas pressies (!!!), some amazing bread, triple cream brie and a bottle of Bootles gin. And two socks to the start of the heel.

Here's the thing about using the beautiful wooden Brittany needles size 2.25mm: they will, if bent beyond optimum, break. I am now down to seven needles which is a perfect number for going around and around and around on two socks alternately. Heel flaps are also manageable but require some focus which tends to get a bit lost when drinking Bootles and listening to the bench-racing stories. Hence: two socks ready to go on the heel flaps. Not bad for a weekend of motorcycling, eh?

Music for the journey: Down at the Fair by these women. Watch out for track 7....

Still breathing....

Monday, June 09, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring...

and my new Christmas jacket is as advertised. Yahoo! and also Hooray!! as there has had to be serious planting at The Poppa's house.

I grew up on the Island. I am used to, and even like, rain. I don't like being wet. When I came down in November to hang out with #2 Nephew, I realized that, after 23 years, my outdoor wardrobe was no longer Island-able. Wool jackets are great in the dry snow of the Interior but smell like wet sheep (in a bad way if one's jacket was made in Russia as this one was) and weigh about ten additional kilos when exposed to a proper West Coast rain. The beach walks I had looked forward to went from several to one because not only did it rain, it also snowed West Coast snow and then froze. It was an interesting time. Side note: Agnes and I were apparently the only ones out with proper snow/winter tires as we were not in the ditch and not all over the road. The Interior is good for some things such as winter preparedness and wine. And peaches. And summer nights with the nighthawks zinging by like bullets and sleeping under sweet nothing because it's "too darn hot....."

Ahem... the jacket works and the annual beds are planted and the Digitalis purpurea I have been sneaking into my father's garden (he's not fussy about them having used them as wasp traps as a kid until he and the wasps found out that stingers worked through flower trumpets) are quietly filling in corners of the perennial bed my mother and I made out of the old veggie garden (and a *%$$ of a lot of grunt work). The sage plant that used to anchor the "new" (circa 1980) herb bed has finally given up the ghost and I was charged with getting a new one because, according to Poppa, there has to be sage for Christmas. He now has two varieties which are planted in the midst of the burgeoning parsley bed. I didn't know parsley would make a bed but if one doesn't keep ahead of it and lets it go to seed, it will make a bed and then one has to dig up perfectly good parsley plants (I could have done quite well at the farmers's market - hmmm, wondering: is that a market of farmers or for farmers??? - if I were going to be here. Don't grief me out about the "s's" - I like it and it's my writing place. If you want to write your own and slag me off, go right ahead.) and (just in case you thought I'd forgotten what I was doing here) repot, replant or sling 'em onto the compost just so there will be sage for stuffing at Christmas. All you East Coasters who do savory can stop rolling about laughing!

So: it's June, the annuals are planted, the fuchsia basket for my mum is done. It sure won't look like the link for a while but I remembered the colours from my childhood and sneakily squeezing the flowers to pop them open... I know.... I was peculiar... but I put it to you: put an eight year old in front of a fuchsia - do you know how hard that word is to type???? - plant and there will be blossom squeezing just to see the pop!

And it's raining. Everything here is blooming late, late, late and I will be taking home (in JUNE mind you) an armload of paeonies to fill up the house with the scent and lusciousness that they are. My grandfather's "pinks" - the ones my mother, his daughter-in-law moved twice, will be blooming for my father when he comes back on Friday. Nobody left knows where the columbines came from but they are present as are the daylilies and iris Mum and I replanted in 2000. The crocosmia Dad and I bought at the market almost two years ago on the Saturday between her death and funeral has about a zillion new shoots. I think she will be pleased. The Sr Boy is glad he is not here in the rain.

There are so many different colours of green out this window.

Still breathing......

Friday, June 06, 2008

Garage thoughts

First off: my apologies to those of you who decided to drive to the Coast today and ran into the "compact, slushy, and slippery" up on the Coq. It's my fault for deciding that, as there was no longer visible snow on the hills across the lake, it was safe to visit my favourite tire guys yesterday and switch off the winters for the summers. Sorry.

Getting the tires out the day after the power washer was here and semi-flooded the garage gave me the opportunity for a look 'round in the garage instead of the usual drive in/drive out. The Juniors and I (but mostly them) have done some dealing with the garage but we are at a bit of a stall in that there are things that need to go as in "leave" and something else that needs to go as in "run." The stuff that needs to leave (and I suspect you've heard about these before now) includes a non-working engine for the Escort that was totalled over a year ago and several wire wheels from Berte-the-B left from the changeover Himself made so Berte would be more slalomable. (Guess it worked as I have found a beer mug that says "First Place - Match Time".) What does one do with things like that in the general world? I know that all it would take is a few phone calls but inertia seems to have its sticky tentacles wrapped about me. Perhaps putting it in this place will push me forward.

And as for something that needs to go as in "run": offloading the n-w engine would give The Jr Boy's Girl her own parking space instead of being wedged between Agnes and Berte (great names for a '40s story, eh? Maybe I should get on that.... did I mention that along with the inertia, I tend [stop laughing, kids!] to be a bit distractable?) and then I could roll Berte out, put in his new (and charged up) battery, cross my fingers and turn the key. Last summer, with the newness of Agnes, starting him was too much. This year, he deserves at least a few runs even if they are only on temporary plates. And if I get Berte moving back and forth in the garage, the wire wheels might magickly disappear, too!!

Figuring out that the Good Housekeeping Fairy is me has been a huge shock!!

Anyone want some wire wheels??

Of course, if I want to drive the B, I might have to keep the n-w engine to provide the distraction required by the weather gods: when a friend on the Island wanted to go for a ride, he used to throw a set of bike cases out on the driveway so the weather gods would think he was working on the machine and provide a lovely sunny day. He swore it worked every time. Oh wait: I don't live on the Island, I live here in the (supposedly) sunny Okanagan.

The engine goes.

But not the croquet set.

Still breathing.