Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Dirty Little Secret

This is going to be a highly unusual post for me to be posting. It’s a household cleaning tip. Now, if you know me at all, you know that housecleaning is not my favourite thing in the world to do. That said, I’ve discovered something that I just have to share. It has to do with stainless steel coffee/tea mugs.

Around here, we have a few of them. John has his favourites and I have my two tea mugs (heaven help anyone who uses them for anything but tea!). John recently bought a replacement for mine because it was so stained with tea that it was impossible to clean. I’d tried scrubbing it with Vim and SOS pads to absolutely no avail. So it was replaced and has been serving only as a back up when I leave my current mug at work.

John, too, has his favourite, one he found at work. It too, though, was dreadfully stained and almost black on the inside. See for yourself…

dirty little secretThis particular mug is quite narrow and there’s no way that I, even with my fairly small hands, could get in to clean it. Then I had a thought.

I’d seen suggestions for using denture cleaning tablets for cleaning some hard to clean items so I thought, “Why not the mugs?”

I went shopping. I will not lie; it felt a little strange buying Efferdent.

dirty little secret 3I emptied two of the little pouches into John’s mug, added hot water, let it stand for a half hour or so, then took a brush to the mug. Oh my goodness!!

dirty little secret 4And he was actually drinking out of this mug? Now, though, the mug looks like this…

dirty little secret 2Even my mug, with it’s caked on tea stains (we’re talking about having to scrape it off!) is absolutely spotless! My mug took a little more work and about six packets and an overnight soak, and then a bit of scrubbing with an SOS pad but it’s clean. I am terribly impressed.

So, there’s my cleaning tip. For hard to clean things, like stained stainless steel mugs? Efferdent!





Categories: Blogging, No Knitting | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Well Now…

I’ve been nominated for a blog award. I’ve never heard of the Liebster award but I’m honoured nonetheless. It will take some thinking before I post my own nominations, answers to questions and my own questions for those bloggers I am to nominate. Keep your eyes open.

In the meantime, more progress is being made on John’s sweater. I’m trying to work on it a little bit every day and, at this point, I have almost 11″ done on the front. I’ve been alternating between knitting Continental and English as both my wrists have been giving me some problems. I’m glad I can switch back and forth between the two techniques. Interestingly, I’m not noticing any difference in the tension between the two methods. I hate to say it but I seem to have a knack for keeping my tension pretty even (my mother has commented on that fact in the past; it used to drive her crazy as you can read her mood at any given time over the course of knitting a project by looking at her tension).


The last couple of days have seen a bit of a welcome change in the weather around here. The nights have been cooler, with a couple of nights of temperatures around 8ºC (46.4ºF); I even put an extra blanket on my side of the bed! Yesterday, we had some much needed rain and today the sunshine is back. The temperature, though, is finally a little cooler than it has been (around 23ºC or 73ºF). It’s a lovely day, really. As a matter of fact, this is the kind of day I enjoy… not so hot that it makes cooking a torturous task but not so cool that you need to add a layer for warmth.

Because it isn’t so hot, I’ve been busy in the kitchen most of the morning. There is now a batch of homemade, very seedy and grainy, granola bars packed into a tin, ready for the coming week’s lunches; there’s a batch of homemade hummus in the fridge (a little too heavy on the tahini for John’s taste, though), and we’ve had a lovely big brunch that should last us until dinner (bacon, eggs, whole grain bread, and yogurt with fresh blueberries and peaches).

granola bars

And out in the garden, things are looking good. John’s been having some back problems this summer so we haven’t been out in the garden as much as we should but we have been eating from the garden almost daily for the last month. While I was outside today, hanging up a load of laundry, I was looking at my little herb garden and some of the potted plants.

herb gardenThis is, quite literally, just outside our back door. The empty patch is where we had lettuce growing; it’s now finished. In addition to what you can see here, the stick just to the left of the word “Basil” indicates where the French Tarragon is. Lovely stuff! As well, to the right of the rosemary and the basil, there are two kinds of parsley, Italian and regular old ruffled parsley.

I was blown away by my bay tree today. It has put on a magnificent spurt of growth this summer. And, not only has it grown, it is about to bloom!

All of the light green is new growth. Amazing!

All of the light green is new growth. Amazing!

Check out the buds…

bay laurel 2I’ll post pictures of the flowers once they bloom. I have to say, I’m really looking forward to seeing what they look like. I think this little tree is loving the weather this summer.

Categories: Baking, Blogging, Garden, John's Sweater, Just stuff, Knitting, The Weather | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Progress on More Than One Front

I’ve had an enjoyable week. As the title of this post indicates, I’ve made progress on more than one front. I celebrated my … *mumble, mumble* birthday this week. I guess that’s progress; it certainly is a progression of time.

This week also saw a decision made. As you may, or may not, know, I’ve been going to the gym on a one month free membership that John won at a golf event a while back. Well, that one month has come and gone and this week was decision time. I did check out another gym, even closer to my work (about as close as one can get, actually; they’re next door to where I work) but I wasn’t terribly impressed with the facility or the prices. It was an easy decision to make; I’ve taken out a two year membership at the gym and I’m committing myself to going three times a week, minimum. I’ve been going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so far and I intend to keep going with that. It feels good to have made that decision.

As well, I’ve committed myself to going for at least one good walk on the weekends (weather permitting). Today, I went for a 4.5 mile (7 km) walk, with some hills and straight stretches. My pedometer tells me I burned over 500 calories on that walk! I’m quite pleased with myself, to be honest.

I’ve also made progress on John’s sweater… in more ways than one.

parker002That’s 5″ worth of knitting so far. I haven’t been working on it daily but I do find it’s knitting up fairly quickly and has almost become mindless. The pattern is truly quite simple; it’s a p1, k2 repeat, which is why it’s ALMOST mindless. I do find myself occasionally doing p2, k2.

parker003I’ve only posted this second picture because it’s more indicative of the true colour. The yarn, incidentally, is Knit Picks City Tweed heavy worsted (55% Merino, 25% Superfine Alpaca and 20% Donegal Tweed). It’s lovely and soft and almost feels like some of the newer acrylic blends (blasphemy, I know). I think it will quickly become one of John’s favourites to wear.

The last bit of progress is something you can’t see. When it comes to knitting, I’m a “thrower”. Usually. Well, that 5″ of knitting in the two pictures has been done primarily in Continental. I’ve always known how to knit continental but I’ve never been comfortable with the purl stitches. I’ve decided I want to get more comfortable with continental and I’m definitely making progress towards that goal.

As I said at the outset, this has been a week of progress… and that feels great!



Categories: Blogging, Health, John's Sweater, Knitting | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Let’s Get Back To The Important Stuff

I’m knitting! I have finally been inspired to start on a new sweater for John. I don’t know if you remember but in February (yeah, that long ago!), I bought a bag of yarn to make a sweater. John chose the colour, I chose the weight (heavy worsted) and I tried to come up with a design that I was happy with, that he would like.

Well, that was a dismal failure.

Then, Saturday, I was looking at men’s sweaters on the Drops website ( and came across this one.

45-1Knowing John’s tastes, I had him look at it; his immediate comment? “I love it!” Yup, I figured he would. He likes his sweaters loose and comfortable, casual and yet classy.

After that easy decision, it was time to swatch and swatch again. Earlier, I’d swatched with two different needle sizes, 4.5 mm and 5.0 mm. Now it was time to swatch in pattern. Well, colour me happy! On a 5.0 mm needle, the swatch worked out perfectly.

I’ve now cast on and I’m on my way…. I’m knitting again!


Categories: Knitting | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Should I Hang My Head In Shame?

I’ve just noticed that my last post was a month ago! Where on earth has the time gone? I guess I’ve been busy, right? As for hanging my head in shame, I won’t. I realize that blogging isn’t a life or death thing. It’s something I choose to do, not something I have to do.

So, what’s been happening, you might well ask. I have been busy. I have been going to the gym. Usually, I go three times a week, after work. Then, on the weekends, I go for a nice long walk with my camera in hand. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much of interest to take pictures of. Maybe I need to change my route.

I’ve also noticed that with the heat we’ve been having (temperatures in the low 30’sC or high 80’sF), we did a whole lot of nothing but sit in an air-conditioned room!

However, there are things I could be writing about. I think I mentioned, didn’t I, that while in Edmonton, I found some more yarn for the 10-stitch blanket? Well, despite the heat (trust me, it’s been hot!), I did get started on one of the two balls of yarn.

10stitch diagonal

This is how it looks right now. With John’s input, we decided to go with the ball on the right first:

10stitch yarnI do try to work on it a little bit when I can but, really, knitting just isn’t on the menu right now, I’m finding. I think the heat is just sapping the desire to work with any kind of fibre right now. Then again, there’s no rush to complete this project. It’s not meant for anyone but us.

When I posted a photo on my photo blog this morning (Clicks ‘n Things, if you’re interested), there was a little message in the top right hand corner, a symbol really. When I clicked on it, this is what I saw…

5 years WPFive years ago, I first registered with WordPress! I know I’ve been blogging for quite some time (I started with Blogger in 2005) but I didn’t realize it’s been five years that I’ve been with WordPress. Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been blogging on WordPress for that long. I remember setting up a blog but not doing anything with it. At the time, I remember thinking that Blogger was easier so I abandoned WP. As you are probably aware, I’ve changed my mind in the interim. I now have five WP blogs.

I’ve rambled on long enough for today, I think. Again, I apologize for the long silence. I’m not going anywhere, my voice has just been silent for a while. There’s more to ramble about but I’ll save it for another day.




Categories: Blogging, Just stuff, Knitting, The Weather, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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