Friday, January 10, 2014

One of Those Friday Random Things Posts

Indulge me in a bit of Canadianism, for a moment, as I talk about the weather. See, in the same way that most of North America has been in a deep freeze for the last couple of weeks, so have we in TO. Not surprising really. I mean, we live in Canada - even if it is the wussy-weather part of Canada. But it's really brought to light some things I know, but that I'm not often given the opportunity to experience...

For starters, make no mistake, people acclimate to cold very quickly. On the first day of -35C with the windchill, I was freezing. I took the bus to work. I wore 3 layers and a fur. By the time the mercury rose to -10, yesterday, I was so freakin' overheated in one layer, that I had my coat open, my scarf gloves and hat removed and I could still barely stand it. (Sure, I'm willing to admit that perimenopause has something to do with this.) Today, at 0C, I wore a fall jacket.

Moreover, people acclimate to ice very quickly. At first I was taking the bus, as much to avoid killing myself on patches of black ice, as to avoid the cold. Now I have my ice-legs and I routinely cruise across blocks of the stuff (in reasonable footwear, natch) with little concern. It's really good exercise too, peeps. Note: As of this aft, I'm back to getting my slush legs, which are unpleasant under any circumstances. There's nothing redeeming there.

Finally, and I'm sorry to harp about this, but I'm living with this weather and it's omnipresent: The entire deep-freeze bought beautiful, bright, cloudless skies. The air was dry. It was SO cheerful. Now, with rising temps, we're back to the socked-in, damp and dullness that sucks the life out of one. No joke: I prefer freezing and sun, any day, to the drab and zero we're probably in for for the next few weeks. This does make me an optimal candidate for life in Montreal, for what it's worth.

But on to other randomness:

  • My goal for the weekend is to chill the fuck out. More to the point, I hope to drink some wine, eat some yummies, knit the rest of the sweater body for the Blanche Too, and revisit the pieces of the Janet Jacket (that's been in brief stasis). I won't sew this weekend. I'll retrace and reconsider fit, in light of stretch fabric lining, and maybe cut the pieces if I get to that step. You know, there's no prize for finishing the thing in 10 minutes.
  • I have alluded, in Twitter, to having acquired a FitBit Flex. It's a boring story, frankly, but the gist is that I've been wearing it since Monday and, while at first I hated it, now I'm intrigued. Brief description: It's a gizmo you wear on your wrist that tells you how much energy your body burns both at rest and during activity and your sleep patterns. Since I do keep a food log (longstanding thing), I'm impressed to see that my FitBit is compatible with my food diary. It's apparently about 93% accurate (more than accurate enough for my needs) and, if nothing else, it's assisting me to refine my understanding of my body's current metabolic rate. (You know, if one eats a mere 100 calories a day more than one needs (depending on a variety of factors, of course), it makes the difference of @ a pound a month. I'm in a phase where I need to pay attention to that sort of stupidity.) Please do not misunderstand - I do not enjoy feeling like a robot and I'm not becoming some sort of Nike-style fitness nut. I'm just using it as I do everything else - as a tool for calibration. Fun info: I have to remove it when I knit because it sees that movement as steps and it's been giving me lots credit for excess activity while I knit for an hour or two per night :-) Mind you, it gives me NOTHING for my yoga, a practice where I hold "static" poses for minutes at a time, so I do take some of the knitting creditin lieu!
  • Have you joined the Swap Flickr group for Andrea and Gail's Stash Diet? Look, I'm not in a stash diet mood, as evidenced by the 10 yards of fabric and 4 skeins of yarn I've bought in the last week. And that's cool. But I do love the idea that peeps who LOVE accumulating the building blocks of their crafts are able to give and get while avoiding any net accumulation of stuff. In fact, this fills me with such a warm, fuzzy feeling that I'm going to have to catalog my stash and give some of it away! Maybe I'll do that this weekend if there's time. How is there so much to do???
I'm not overly concerned about accumulation of things because I have a built in halt-mechanism. It's called compulsiveness. I cannot allow myself to overgrow my allotted space (a fabric banker's box for yarn stash and a cupboard of fabric - effectively 4 small shelves, one of which is occupied by interfacing and lingerie stuff). I'm hardwired to stop. But, in the same way that I am hardwired to limit myself (in this fashion, not in numerous other ways!), I am twistedly thrilled to see the overgrown stashes of others. I LOVE the excess of a beautiful, robust, overflowing stash of tactile treats. I am hanging out in that Flickr group just to see the gorgeous indulgences that reside within. And, of course, I love the idea that peeps will be making use of what they have, if only to allow themselves to buy some more :-)

At any rate, that's me for the day. Thoughts about any of this? Are you up to excitement this weekend, the first of the excitement-free mid-winter? Let's talk!

13 comments:

  1. "I prefer freezing and sun, any day, to the drab and zero we're probably in for for the next few weeks."

    Ditto. :D

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  2. So you would never manage on the coast, 'cause we do drab and grey and generally five degrees either side of zero through most of the winter. I'm really skeptical when people go on about sunny and bright and clear and upbeat when I know my bones would break at minus 20 -- my husband worked in Ottawa for 5 or so years and I'd do the commute-visiting with much trepidation during the winter. . . . I do have snowdrops blooming in my yard but it sounds as if they wouldn't reconcile you to wet, gloomy, grey. . .

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    1. Pearl in VancouverJanuary 11, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      The daffodils are up a couple of inches in my yard. I really need to add some snowdrops - they are so pretty!

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    2. F: I would NOT manage on the coast. Mind you, I'm not doing such a great job here either!

      And Pearl: You and Frances are killing me with this talk of nature and growth! :-)

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  3. I had a lovely 1.5 mile walk to work yesterday in the snow and took off my mittens and opened my down jacket halfway through, so much heat was I generating. And when I got to work and removed my beret (which had my freshly-dried long hair piled up underneath), I resembled a Where the Wild Things Are beast after a "fluff" cycle. Love winter walks in the cold.

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    1. Ha! Look, you can't have everything...

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  4. You know, when I was in B.C. last winter, I complained about the lack of sun all the time. The locals told me that's the price you pay for mild winters (we had no snow last year) but I rebuffed them explaining I would take the cold and sunny weather of TO any day. Fast forward to this winter and I'm beginning to think I was delusional about the sun because, yes, we've had cold, but the sun? The sun has made an appearance less than a handful of times. Was it always this gray in Toronto in the winter? Was I imagining sunny winters? If so, I’d take the B.C. gray any day. At least it was warm and I didn’t have to navigate icy roads there (ice is my nemesis).

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    1. Oh, honey, you are high on drugs. It is a freakin' misery like this EVERY year. Trust me, I have 6 years of winter blog posts to corroborate it. This year does seem a bit worse than usual, but it IS January. And things got an early start for the first time in a few years. Feb and March will be the final test of whether this is a worse winter, from a light standpoint, than any of the others in recent memory.

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  5. I am so with you about loving to peek into other people's stashes! I actually love to look the yarn stashes of my Ravelry friends, not only to compare theirs with mine (not in a good/bad way, but in terms of colours, yarn weights, etc. that we choose and what that means/doesn't mean about what we knit).

    I keep my Ravelry stash up to date pretty much for this reason, and it's great. I'm definitely going to have to spend some time browsing that Flickr group!

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    1. Don't tell anyone, but I love to walk around TO neighbourhoods (and any neigbourhoods, anywhere) and peer into windows, after dark. I mean - I don't go up to their houses! I just see what's available for view from the street. But I love it. One can find gorgeous design, amazing moldings, great lighting. It's so fun! I say embrace your inner craft-voyeur. I do :-)

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