Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Did everyone have a fun New Year's Eve?  I hope you weren't all hungover this morning!

Mike and I opted for a quiet evening at home, most of which was spent with me catching up with my swatch blog, with the various NYE celebration shows (New York, Niagara Falls, Toronto, etc.) on in the background.    (Gotta have Dick Clark there to welcome in the New Year, even if it is shown on a 3-hour delay out here!).  We chose this option because we wanted to head up to Whistler bright and early this morning - we figured that all the hard-core partiers would stay in bed, and we'd end up with a pretty quiet mountain.  And we were right!
 Do you see the early morning (8:30am-ish) huge mass of skis, belonging to all the people in the ticket lines, bathrooms, and/or doing other preparatory things?  No!  That's because it wasn't there!  :)
 This shot was taken near the bottom of The Glades in Symphony Bowl, at exactly 10am.  While I was skiing, I was the only one there - a few others started to pass me as I was taking the photo.  :)

We had a great day skiing - and now that I'm skiing post wrecked (and now repaired!) knee, my desire to avoid falling at all costs is making me pay more attention to my technique.  Good thing Mike is pretty skilled at teaching the finer points of skiing!  (although I will probably try to take a proper lesson soon - that was the plan last year, until we had to cut our ski vacation short).

Given that the holidays are now coming to an end (although we still have tomorrow off - yay!), I thought I should update you on all the holiday things I had wanted to post, but didn't get time to do...

Let's see... I left off after Christmas Tree Day...

On Christmas Eve, we gave Gus his Christmas present.  If you remember, for the last year and a half, Gus has been living in a vase on the desk in our office.  Recently, he'd been looking a little bored and cold, so we decided that it was finally time to upgrade.
This is Gus' new home - a 5.5 gallon tank, complete with a heater, some new decorations, 2 mystery snails, and four little tetra fish friends.  The snails are named Norman and Rockerfeller; our little orange-striped tetra is Napoleon, and the larger, black-striped tetra is called Fletcher.  The two little cardinal tetras are new to the tank, so they don't have names yet.  In rather a sad turn of events, it turns out that Tetra fish are really good jumpers - not that the people at the pet store told us this.  So a tank with no lid, and a rather high water level (due to the heater) unfortunately resulted in two dead little fishies!  But don't worry, we went to a much better pet store and got a lid, so now our fishies are nice and safe!

Since we stayed in Vancouver for the holidays this year (as per our three-year cycle of Mike's Family, My Family, and then No Family), the plan was that we'd have Turkey Dinner at my brother's house.  Ostensibly, this was decided so that my 1.5 year old nephew, Max, could go to sleep in his own bed at his proper bed time, rather than having to keep him up super late (and overexcited) at Grandma and Grandpa's (aka: my parents' house).  But of course it turns out Max is a bit of a night owl, so we probably could've had Christmas at the folks'.  :)

Anyway, my contribution to the dinner was Tourtière, a French-Canadian spiced meat pie.  This year I decided to try a new recipe, since the one I've used in the past was always a little bland (I was given the basic recipe by Mike's mother, but the 'secret sauce' eludes me - my pie did not taste like her pies!).
 Here's the filling, simmering away.
And here's the finished pie, awaiting transport to Maple Ridge.

Dinner was a lot of fun - not least because we had this guy to entertain us.
This is Max's ' Who me? But I'm innocent!' expression.  I think he gets this one from his father!

Here he is tackling a gift from my parents... you'll see what it was in just a bit.
I gave Max this guy...

I thought he was a monster, but Max assures me that he's a "Bo Bot".  :)

For my brother, I "made" this gift...
his very own, do-it-yourself Gingerbread House Kit.  A little late, perhaps, but who says it can't be a New Year's House?!

Here's my Dad, calmly watching all the present shenanigans from afar.
(oh sure, he likes cats now, but what about all those years when I wanted a cat, but the answer was always 'no!'?!)  ;)

After a bath and a change to PJ's, Max decided it was time that his father put together the tricycle that came out of that great big box.
 Keep an eye on Max here... "Yay! Daddy and Granddad are building my bicycle!" (that kid is such a ham)

 Two seconds later...
"Ooo, now that they're distracted, I'm going to go play with this camera that I'm not supposed to touch!"
Good thing that kid's so cute - he gets away with murder!

Max's monster, and his blue counterpart, were the extent of my Christmas knitting this year.  Mike's sweater didn't get finished, because it turned out that my sewn steeks weren't nearly as secure as I thought...  but the kind people from the Dale of Norway Ravelry Group have given me a number of suggestions on how to fix the now partially unravelling armscye/body stitches, so hopefully I should be able to fix that and get on with finishing it.  There was a woman at Whistler wearing a machine-knit version of the same sweater (I'm guessing, given the leather DaleGarn Patch that was sewn on to it), and seeing that definitely made me want to finish this one soon.

In other news, I successfully finished my year of swatching - 257 swatches in total.  You can read my final comments, and get some info on the 'next steps' here.  For now, I'm going to bed!

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