November 2004

I went to The Beer Store today. I was looking for Niagara Falls Brewing Company Apple Ale that I’ve had in the autumn the past few years (beer, NOT cider). I love this stuff. Love it like candy even, but I haven’t been able to find it this year.
So I decided to take another look and as I was perusing the specialty beers, I saw meade. hmmm. But I was after the apple ale. After reading every box on every shelf and finally convincing myself there was indeed no apple ale to be had, I went back to the meade.
There were blueberry, raspberry and black current blends. I looked for plain old meade, but there was none. I know the liquor store has some, but I was at the Beer Store, so yanno. I settled on a box of six (small – 200mL) bottles of blueberry meade.
At home, I poured one of the bottles into a glass with ice as recommended on the packaging. Now, I have no idea if what I have is anything like traditional meade, but I like it. A lot. It tastes a lot like red wine, but with fizz, not like wine cooler fizz (bleh), like beer fizz (yay!). I was a little disappointed with the small bottles, but after a couple of sips I went back to the read the label on the bottle… 9% alcohol. aha! 200mL is plenty! lol.
I was expecting a thicker drink. hmmm. And I don’t detect any kind of distincitve honey flavour. Either way, I like it, so.. yeah. There is nothing weird on the igredients list and there are no preservatives. My only concern is that this stuff is brewed in Oakville, so I assume the water comes from Lake Ontario. Ew.
I’m not going to count this item as “Done”. I want to try a more traditional style of meade. *hic* I believe this goal is going to require a lot of research. *hic*


With the nights getting longer and longer, I’m itching to go Christmas Crazy and to knit knit knit!
The past few years, I haven’t done much knitting and moved to crocheting more and more and with big hooks. My hands were in bad shape (due to a joint disease) and with limited movement and strength in my hands, I found that large-hook crocheting was easier, not to mention faster, which is always nice. But, in September I had surgery and an unexpected side effect was a huge improvement in my joints. With so much less pain and so much more movement and stamina in my hands, I find myself wanting to knit on tiny needles with lace-weight yarn.
But, alas (and alack even!), I have to control the yearning to knit and be more practical. With the solstice fast approaching (yay!!) and given the state of my needlework supplies, it is better to just breathe deeply and resist the urge to dig through piles of yarn and needles and pattern books. I keep telling myself that in the new year, I will tackle my state-of-supplies problem, then choose a project. In the meantime, I am living vicariously through the Yarn Harlot.

As for seasonal preparations… I went today to get cedar rope. I have 50′ of BC cedar rope for decorating in the house. BC cedar is long and lacey. And it smells gooooooood! I have 60′ of pine rope for decorating the porch. I just keep sniffing and sniffing. I’d better take it easy, or I might pass out ;)
I also got one of these. I ordered it last week and it was in my mailbox today. We had one when I was little and I loved it. We didn’t light the candles much, but I clearly remembered the soft sounds of the chimes. It may be a cheaply made, punch-out, mega-produced and kitchy thing, but when I was a child, it was magical to me.
When I brought it home, I showed Jordan what I had. We set it up right away and lit the candles. It didnt take long for the soft ringing to begin. Jordan loves it as much as I did and it is clearly as magical for him as it was for me. I was watching the little angles fly around the star with their trumpets, watching the candle flames and listening closely to the bells. Suddenly I realized that I had been almost in a trance for more than 10 minutes, silent and staring, caught up in the light and the sound. I looked at Jordan, he was still lost, looking unblinkingly at the candles and the flying angels, listening to the soft ringing of the bells. He looked relaxed and peaceful. I watched him and felt warm.
Turns out, that after all these years, it is still magical for me too.

#86 declutter 50 bags:
I’ve filled two more bags with junk. Buh-bye!
Bags tossed so far: 20.
40% complete.

#91 get rid of the big cupboard:
I threw out a tonne more stuff from the big cupboard in the kitchen. The cupboard has been emptied and disassembled. Tomorrow, Mark will re-assemble it downstairs.

#92 bookshelves:
I hadn’t planned on coming back to the bookshelves until later, but I was dying to know what was in those binders! lol! Turns out (not surprisingly) that there was a lot of JUNK in those binders. Stuff from a co-op I no longer run. Stuff from websites I no longer own/maintain. Computer notes from a university course I never took (I can’t remember why I even have them). And more. All the junk went to the recycling box. BUH-BYE!
Once all the binders were gone, I figured that since I was there, I would tackle the shelf above it. Two more books went into the charity bag, and a bunch went upstairs to my son’s room.
All that is left on those two shelves is a handful of neat books. There are 28 shelves there, and now 6 are in good shape.
21% complete.

#51: find a good version of the Arthurian Legends and read it.
A funny thing happened on my way to when I was working on the bookshelves. I noticed that I have a very good copy of a Folio book on the Arthurian Legends. *ahem* Of course, I bought this book. It wasn’t a cheap book either. It’s just that, um… I forgot.
I blame the clutter.
It makes it hard to see what you have. It clutters your house and your mind. And your memory.
Anyway, the book I have presents two medieval versions of each legend. Very thorough. I doesn’t look too dry either. I had in mind more of a novel-style version of the legends. But this would do too.

98 Things and 973 Days remaining.

Nov 17.

I’ve been making my way through the house going room-by room. First, I throw out/give away whatever I can. Then I give the room a good deep cleaning. First I did the living room, then the dining room (they are really one big room, but in my mind, they are separate rooms. Pretend with me.) Next was the front hall.
Today, I tackled the hall closet and overflow. The overflow was all the stuff that should have been in the closet that was actually stored in the bench and in a wicker cupboard that I bought specifically for the over-overflow. Oh… and in the big wooden box with a lid that sat on top of the wicker cupboard. I bought the box for the over-over-overflow. Of course, there were the eight or more pairs of shoes at the front door and the smaller pile of shoes beside the wicker cupboard with a wooden box-with-a-lid sitting on top. … in a hole in the bottom of the seeeeeeeaaaaaaa!
The hall closet is a double width closet. Three people live in this house. There should be no overflow!! There will be no overflow!! I filled a bag for garbage – threw away three purses, four pairs of shoes and a raincoat, among other things. I also began another bag for charity – it has three pairs of shoes in it. All the mittens, hats and scarves are in the washing machine. When they are dry, I’ll sort through those and see what I can give away. Amazingly, when you get rid of all the out-of-season shoes and the shoes you don’t wear, your shoe rack is plenty big enough!
Result: One more bag decluttered and overflow eliminated!


These are the book shelves in my living room. I look at them and I am overwhelmed. You can see the empty spaces where I took books out to give away (if you look closely). There are still way too many books there. Looking at the picture, I can see that the first thing to go has to be the dog all those binders and the crap on the shelf above them.
Interesting fact: I do not know off-hand the contents of even one of those binders.
This is so exciting! I love surprises!


Now that my dining room is spotless and there is a table cloth and cloth napkins (not to mention the fact that the table is not covered in random junk)… I don’t want to eat in there and mess it up. In fact, maybe it would be better if no one was even allowed in there. uh-huh. ;)

This year, I grew squash for the first time. I was battling cucumber beetles and powdery mildew, but the vines did produce a few good-sized fruit. The seed envelope said only “winter squash” but I think it is kabocha squash.

Tonight I made soup with some of it. I make it with MacIntosh apples and ginger. It is my favourite soup of all time. Peeling the apples makes for a smoother texture, but I leave the peels on. It seems a shame to waste them. We had some for dinner and I froze 3L plus a single serving. There is more in the fridge for tomorrow. Bountiful.

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