Archive of ‘knitting’ category

Fall Lunch

Can you believe that midterm exams are almost in full swing? Not like I’m in school or anything, but when I tried to plan a weekend luncheon with some friendlies, it turns out that people are scrambling to study already. Hasn’t even been a full month of school. Wow. Having said that, and snickered a bit that friends are hitting the books, I would love to be baking study-group cupcakes, and complaining how much my textbooks weighed.

Angela and I went out to lunch at “The Reef”, a Caribbean restaurant with rocking food. Curry veggies and jerk tofu wrapped up in roti for me, and quesadillas for Angie. Fantastic! Nice to get caught up on everything in each others lives, and see the latest knitting projects!

I has been so bitterly cold these last fews days. 13 C doesn’t sound too chilly, but on the West Coast that means take that number and subtract a whole lot for windchill and damp cold. I was in full winter regalia. And still found it within my stubbornly sun-loving heart to complain of the cold. Nothing new there. I feel like if I could just be walking around, I wouldn’t notice the cold so much, or I could stomp my feet to get warm. I really want to get walking. I have been sick for so long…so lame!

The yoga does warm me up nicely. It feels really good to stretch. I am getting better, and the gals even introduced a few new moves this week, which is exciting! My hips are very weak…where there should have been muscle and fat at my side is now a hollow place. Lack of strength in my hips does make it hard to walk, or balance, so hopefully by strengthening there I can get walking that much easier and faster!

I only have to take this one kind of pill for 3 days, and then I take a break for 30 days. The catch it that I take 8 doses of this mediation per day. 8 little yellow pills that taste of chemically death. While I’m on these, I feel particularly awful and exhausted, something I didn’t realize was possible. I thought it couldn’t get much more terrible than doing IV meds twice daily, but for some reason these oral meds just push me way over the edge. Talk about frustrating! They also make me super nauseous, although for some reason today’s curry lunch hit the spot. Ironically, whenever I am feeling super terrible, I crave curry, and usually feel better afterwards. Wouldn’t it be sweet if I was craving the ayurvedic healing powers of turmeric and curry powder, coriander and ginger? Interesting thought, no?

All that the tide brings…


Last night, instead of going to bed with cold-to-the-touch-numb-to-me feet, they were a shockingly normal color. We have taken pictures of my feet when they are a purple-bluish or red color, which usually doesn’t show up in a photo well. My feet started turning strange colors when I first became ill with bronchitis/pneumonia in 2008, at the very beginning of my serious Lyme illness. There was some talk about Renaud’s syndrome, but my feet weren’t turning colors in the right order, so that was quickly ruled out. My hands and feet were always cold, but now, just 2 days after the CCSVI procedure, with unblocked veins, the warmth and feeling are returning to my limbs. It is kind of exciting…I hadn’t realize I had lost so much sensation in my limbs, if not all of the feeling in my legs. Maybe sooner it will be easier to walk. Who can say…?

It is going to be a brilliant full moon tonight. The tide is very high. Most people have seen scientists projections of what the future water-levels will look like. Its not very promising for shore-dwellers, and the major cities set by the sea. At around 5 o’clock, at the busy Aliso Beach, 20 minutes from where we were staying, the waves were coming in so fast and furious that picnickers and sunbathers had to jump up and flee the tide. It all happened so fast; one minute the sea was a few hundred feet away, and over the course of what felt like a few minutes, it was up to the sidewalk. The water came up and over into the parking-lot, leaving behind much debris and sand.

there goes the picnic

Another thing we have noticed here is how much erosion there is. It is very dry at this time of year, and although bougainvillea and cacti cling to sandy banks, not much is holding back a slide in the wet-season, or preventing the houses perched precariously at the hill top from falling into the sea. Cement and mesh is often tacked to the sheer ‘sand-faces’ (what probably was a rock face a few years ago). I am used to drought from living in both Northern California and then Vancouver Island summers, but because the landscape isn’t ‘green’, it feels so much more serious. I suppose it is just as well that less people live down here; less demand on limited water resources. But I guess flooding fields to grow almonds and other veggies use up plenty of water in the region. Maybe its the warm weather coming into play, but everyone here seems very ‘relaxed’ for California. The pace of life doesn’t seem to hectic. There aren’t that many people living here, the congestion no where near as much as San Francisco. The air is cleaner down South too, which I only hope lasts.

pelicans riding the (air) waves

There really is something to the saying that a sea breeze cures sickness. Maybe its just that it feels so damn good listening to the waves, letting them lull you to sleep. I think I read something about the fact that minerals are beaten out of the rocks by the waves are released into the air, which makes the air feel so good to us. When we realized that all of the sand (and parking lot!) at Aliso Beach were quickly flooded by the waves, we decided to head to another spot. It is fast becoming my local favorite. The beach is nearly deserted, and pelicans swoop by every now and again, landing with a ‘plop’ on the waves, ungraceful sitting as they are delicate in flight. Pelicans look so large close up, because they shrunk in size in my memory. They are practically the size of Condors!

I’ve begun knitting my PICC line cover. How deliciously normal it was to sit on a lounge chair on the beach, knitting, while the sun glares off very pale Canadian skin. I was a little cooler than I’d be willing to admit in the auditory world (e-confessions are fine of this nature…), hence the sweater, scarf, and sarong. But undaunted as the good little Canadian spirit and pride in me can be, I was determined to bury my feet in the sand, and watch the sun twinkle behind a cloud. Hey! – a twinkle is more than we can get in Victoria for several weeks…I’m not complaining!

Watch out!

I feel like a 4-year-old when it’s time to leave the beach. “But I don’t wanna go” *insert a pout here Amy – my cuz – would be proud of*. The beach has a kind of magic that I am wont to give up. It seems like as soon as a plunk down in the car and start brushing sand from between my lime green toes that I have returned to another plane in the universe where I am very ill, and people have to take care of me. On the beach, my imagination is free.

Wait for the Cake!

18. Holy shit. I can no longer laugh at my friends for being ‘old’. I don’t feel a great epiphany or awakening or anything of that nonsense, but rather the same as I did a few days ago, much to my disappointment. I was hoping that I would magically be healed on such a very important day- sort of the reverse of Cinderella turning back into her old self. Alas, Disney gave us all rather impractical solutions to our problems.

I had a really wonderful time on my birthday the other day. Nancy and Phil came down from up Island for the day, and we had a big family dinner. My auntie and uncle went with me to this seriously awesome wool shop downtown called “Knotty by Nature“, which has everything fiber you could possibly desire, while greatly supporting our local sheep and shepherds! Now when I go into a wool store, I simple must touch everything. There are all these strange and wonderful blends of fiber…merino, cashmere, bamboo, linen, alpaca, kid mohair…each with their own addictive feel and story. After much stroking and color combination, I finally decided on 4 braids of unspun wool (the colors on my lap in this picture) in a blueberry, sky blue, stormy gray, and deep lilac. I can’t wait to start spinning them! I haven’t used a drop spindle in a very long time (actually, a decade), but the motion is one that comes relatively naturally. Just need to get my hands on one, and then I will be set.

Rows of dyed wool braids, and hand-dyed bits below.

After our sojourn to the yarn store, we arrived home in time to start dinner. The menu-> veg Phad Thai, which is possibly my favorite food ever, and for dessert a Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream frosting. A unique culture-clash. Heaven. We tried the pressed tofu, which is probably the tastiest ‘lil protein pack I have ever had the pleasure of sampling.

Tossing in the sprouts…

Crushed peanuts, lime juice, bean sprouts, tamarind, garlic, tomato paste: these flavors jump right off the plate, fresh from a well-seasoned wok. 

A wish.

Like most birthday girls, I find the wait for the cake almost impossible. No matter how fine a main course, or salad, it is the desert that is the show-stopper.

After much searching and deliberation, I adapted this recipe from one I found on the nakedeats Blog; Community Vegan Carrot Cake.

~Naked Carrot Cake~

    ⁃    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour  (1.25 cup AP, 1 WW)
    ⁃    1 heaping T cinnamon
    ⁃    2.5 teaspoons all spice
    ⁃    2 teaspoons fresh-ground nutmeg
    ⁃    1/2 teaspoons cardamom, ground
    ⁃    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ⁃    2 teaspoons baking soda
    ⁃    1 teaspoon salt
    ⁃    1/4 cup agave
    ⁃    3 teaspoons vanilla
    ⁃    1 cup olive oil
    ⁃    2 cups finely grated carrots
    ⁃    1 cup crushed pineapple including juice
    ⁃    1 cup shredded coconut
    ⁃    2/3 cup chopped pecans
    ⁃    1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grind all spices (cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, cardamom). Mix together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
Mix the agave with the olive oil in an electric mixer, then drizzle in the fragrant vanilla.
Slowly fold in the dry ingredients mixture. It may seem dry, but not once all the fruits and veggies are added. :D. Add the pineapple and juice and mix. Then add the carrots, coconut, raisons, and nuts. Don’t overland.
Grease and flour a round 9”pan (easiest with a spring-form pan). Pour in the cake batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is pulling away from the sides.

I know it is hard, but let it cool completely before frosting and eating. Gets better with age! ~

The results were sensational: a pleasantly fragrant and fruity cake, not too sweet, but dense and chewy. Just the way it should be. It got rave reviews and clean plates from the rest of the family. A job well done if I do say so! After such an eventful day, the only missing from this picture of happiness was to register to vote! I’ve had a SIN# in the States since birth, so it was easy to register to vote down there, but alas, the next election isn’t until 2012. And I was so looking forward to exercising my democratic rights. When one comes of age, you can vote, and be in a porno, which were both very exciting options, but I stuck with voting :P. I realized that I didn’t have a Canadian SIN#, so I will have to get one very soon so I can register to vote here. Because the elections happen whenever the parties want (a very odd policy, in my opinion. I like knowing we can get rid of people after four years, thank-you-very-much!), there is no set date for an election, but I bet there is a municipal one sooner or later! One can only hope!

All and all, I had a rather wonderful day. For some reason, people seem to enjoy saying “You are only 18 once”, but it is true of every other age as well! Undoubtedly this year will bring me closer to that elusive “health” and the pursuit of dreams beyond. <3

Happy Halloween!

Its never been my favorite holiday. Even as I child, I found it just so obscenely commercial and irksome. I don’t need the end of October to dress up in funny clothes and eat candy, thank you very much; I do that just fine often enough as it is!

 My mum went to visit a fellow Lymie, David, in Toronto today, and I was going to go with her, but I couldn’t get into his house. Gramma is looking after me now. We are staying at her house, in a town outside of Toronto; there are stair lifts now so i can get up to the second floor, and the bathroom! We took out old albums of when Gramma and Grampa were my age, which was really cool to see. They were high-school sweethearts and had been in the same class since grade 9, and started falling in love around grade 11. There are some adorable pictures of them, arm and arm, and goofing off places. It is strange, looking at them so young, I find that I look very much like my grandfather, and that my mum and aunt look so much like Gramma. It is harder to see now that they are older. Looking at them when they were my age, I can imagine that we all might have got along very well  haa haa haa.

I’ve started knitting some truly vintage gloves. The wool is from the 60’s, according to Gramma, and is a pink mohair/wool/acrylic blend, and the pattern looks very weathered. Judging from the illustration on the front and the kind of paper it is made from, I’d say it was older!

I am sick, with a cold, and with an increase in my Lyme symptoms. When I close my eyes, I think that my joints must be swollen double the size, judging from how they throb, but I am surprised to see that they look perfectly normal. That is the curse of Lyme- no physical symptoms. Nothing they can measure with either stick or machine. 

I feel like a jack-o-lanter; all lit up with a smile but with no insides, hollowed out.

Apparently it is Halloween, and I have chosen a unique costume. I’m a Teenager, dressed in the typical knit sweater, t-shirt, and yoga pants that is so common for youth of the ’10’s. Down to the deep rose nail polish I have the right look.
                  I’d like to fit the part.

%d bloggers like this: