Stitch and Click

Welcome to my life (or at least the interesting bits, which probably relate to photography or knitting)

Location: Canada

Monday, May 28, 2007

Losing my hair ... on purpose!

Well, it's been a while since I've posted. Oops. I've had post ideas pass through my head, but I'm so far behind I don't know where to start. Since the most awesome JenEx just directed a boatload of people this direction, I thought it would be prudent to update. Of course, that means I had to remember the new blogger/google login, since I'm writing at work.

A few weeks back, I travelled to NYC once again for TARCon and related events with my TARflies peeps. I hung out with and roomed with JenEx, and we decided that we had obviously been separated at birth ... which of us is the good twin and which is the evil twin I'll leave to y'all to decide!

On to the actual topic at hand (or head?):
I will be participating in a Relay for Life next week. As many of you may know, these events are held annually in cities and towns throughout Canada and the US as fundraisers for the cancer societies. Registration is via teams, and at least one person from each team is expected to be walking/running/moving along the track throughout the event (you know, a relay). Oh, did I mention that the relay is 12 hours long? That's a lot of walking! As part of the evening, there will also be a Cops for Cancer event, which I think is a Canadian-specific drive that was started by police officers, but has spread to the general public. Participants will have their heads shaved, again as a fundraiser for the cancer society, but also as a sign of solidarity with those battling cancer, etc.

Several women that I knew lost their lives to cancer this winter, and in their memory I've chosen to participate in both events. Yup, that means that the hair that I've been growing out for the past 2-3 years is coming off (and it should be long enough to be donated to Locks of Love). For those who don't know me and/or haven't seen me recently, here's a picture of my hair as of 6 months ago (I don't have many pictures of the back of my head, it seems, and this one was stolen with permission from miri.

If you're interested in making a donation, you can do so here. Again, both events are in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, and since I don't know of an online donation link for the CfC, I'll ask that online donations be made on the RfL page. The local event had one of the highest per-capita totals in Canada last year, to my understanding, and by harnessing the power of teh internets, I'd love to blow that out of the water this year. Donations are used to fund cancer research, education and prevention programs, and local programs to help individuals and families dealing with cancer.

As I told some of you, two young friends of mine (ages 6 and 7) emptied out their piggybanks and we counted up nickels and dimes (and some larger coins and bills) which they donated to the cause (approx. $12 from each of them). For those of you who are interested and able to do so, I'd challenge you to match or beat those donations. I promise to post pics of my possibly-lumpy bald noggin, if that'll be an incentive to donate. Thanks!!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Yummy food, part two

This was tonight's dinner:

Baby potatoes roasted with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and spices (oregano, basil, and rosemary, I think) - roasted at 425 for about 30 minutes, then at 350ish for another 10-15 after I added the asparagus (brushed with a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper and a bit of rosemary). The potato skins were nicely roasted, and the asparagus was cooked but still had a bit of crunch (not a big fan of over-cooked green veggies).
The tofu was marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a bit of pepper (and maybe some other spices - sorry, I've forgotten already), then pan grilled until done (5 or 10 minutes).

And to finish, more cupcakes!

These were so good (and so cute!) I made them twice in two days, for a birthday party and an Easter dinner. I thought the colours worked well for both (bright spring colours ... and I think they're also the Dora colours). I found some mini cupcake liners when I was in the city last month (already had the mini muffin tins), and thought they'd work well in this case. These are the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, baked for about 18 minutes given the smaller size. The recipe makes two dozen minis, and there's enough batter left over for 2 or 3 fullsized cupcakes. My stove is small/narrow, so I baked those in little ramekens squeezed in beside the muffin pans.
The icing recipe is that for the mint icing of the chocolate mint cupcakes in VCTOTW (minus the mint extract, naturally), which is not quite as rich as the buttercream frosting (which is also delicious, but wasn't quite what I was looking for). It worked well for both spreading and piping the flowers which are just the cutest little things ever!

Lastly, these are the peanut butter cupcakes from VCTOTW, also made as mini cupcakes. Other than the shorter baking time (again, about 18 minutes), no modifications were needed. These were also tasty, and quite a hit with the kids (made these for a Good Friday dinner with friends).


Yummy food

I've been taking pics of various meals and cupcakes over the past couple months, and have finally posted a few of them on flickr.

The soup is the velvety carrot and ginger soup from The Candle Cafe Cookbook, and it was delicious. It's light but filling, and has a great flavour. I had enough for 3 or 4 meals, and brought it for lunch a couple times. The bread is the Honey Whole Wheat recipe from More With Less (I had some honey left that I'd bought a few years ago) and it was okay. I think I baked this one a couple minutes too long as the upper crust was a bit too dark (my bread pans aren't exactly the same size, and the smaller loaf was just a bit too dark). the flavour is fine, but not as good as some of the other recipes in the same book.

I decided to make an Indian meal last weekend (and was watching Supersize Me while cooking - how's that for motivation to make homecooked vegan meals?), and pulled out these recipes. I've made the chapatis before (from More With Less), and they're quick and easy to make, except the dough needs to sit for an hour between kneading and baking (which is fine if you let it do so while making something else). I cook them stovetop, using a cast iron pan.
The curry is from The Angelica Home Kitchen (curried chickpea and vegetable stew). I didn't have a few of the veggies it calls for (zucchini, celery, spinach), so I used a bit more of others (mainly, carrot, potato, and cauliflower) in addition to the chickpeas (cooked instead of from a can, for once). I remember liking this recipe more in the past - maybe it was the substitutions, but it ended up too thin/watery, and I had to reduce the remainder for a while which left the potatoes way too soft. The flavour was also lacking, though I used more spices than were called for, which again might have been because there weren't the other veggies adding flavour. That's what I get for not planning ahead and picking up the necessary ingredients.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Getting back on track

With the broken foot and subsequent recovery (which for the most part seem a distant memory, except for the occasional ache in that joint), I wasn't able/allowed to run for a few months. I was told to wait about a month after getting the cast off to do so - which would have been the end of February. For those capable of reading a calendar or counting, you'll realize that that was a good three weeks ago. A combination of travelling, weather, and busyness/laziness have prevented me from actually getting out and doing much of anything in the way of activity since then. I was helping out at a camp day last week, which involved various running and playing-type activities, and let me tell you that I felt it the next day. Today I was finally home and free during daylight hours (yay for increased daylight hours!), and managed to get out for a 20 minute run.
In the past year or two, I've slacked off on the physical activity, and I know it. I know that I need to actually practice what I preach for my own health and well-being, so here's to first steps.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Cute pics!

Looking at my stats, it seems that a lot of people do google searches related to broken feet, casts, crutches, and the like. My favourite would have to be "purple bruise on a big toe." Is there someone out there with a bruise fetish? Or perhaps someone out there had a purple toe and was wondering whether they should get it checked out? Whatever the case, belated welcome to random people from the UK, Australia and Israel who checked out my broken foot.

On the topic of the foot, I've now had the cast/boot off for over two weeks, and it's doing okay. The sprained side is much less stiff than it was, and I'm able to walk normally.

I admit that it's hard to think of something to blog about on a regular basis, which is likely a combination of not having the usual blog-fillers (cute kids, wacky pets, or amusing work anecdotes that I'm at liberty to post) and laziness/forgetfulness - either not taking or not uploading pictures of recent baking or knitting projects. But now look! Cute kids *and* baking!

Green Tea Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Enjoying the last bite of cupcake

And to leave your mouth watering for some chocolate, some chocolate cupcakes (recipe also from VCTOTW) - I want to reach through the screen and grab one!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


And I seem to have slipped back into the forgetting-to-write mode yet again. Oops. I've taken a few cooking and baking pictures, now I just need to, you know, post them and write about them. Yeah.

So as a first step, here's a look at my pretty purple foot a few days after the break:

Note the classy tracking of the bruising along the big toe, and the classy sausage toes. I thought I'd capture the look for posterity before getting a cast. I was a Good Patient that first week, hopping around on crutches and Not.Walking.At.All. and the swelling went down (really, that's better than it was). Since I had to get back to work I figured I should get a real cast put on, so had that done on the 31st. Except ... well... I'm not sure if the person who put it on had ever put on a fibreglass cast before ... and well... see for yourself:

Note the odd lumpiness and weird twist to my foot. And, yeah, there were weird lumps inside too, digging into the ankle/back of my heel. The good news, though, was that when we actually looked at the Xray copy (that the doc in the city gave me to take home) I realized that the break was actually in the big toe, not the longer bone (the metatarsal). With all the "you must you crutches! This is your big toe, you must not walk on it!" from the first doc, I was thinking it was the metatarsal, which is a worse break. But no, it was on the other side, though going into the joint. So the doc I saw was all "of course you can walk on this!" So I decided to look it up for a tiebreaker vote, and the ortho textbook agreed that for a big toe break it's 4 weeks of a walking cast. So, I walked on it a bit (although for longer distances I used crutches as they were faster), and in about a week had caused the heel to crack apart:

I figured that anything being held together by duct tape probably wasn't the most effective support ever (not to mention the ankle rubbing) and after about a week got it taken off, and switched to this:

which I had leftover from when I broke my ankle a few years ago (I figure once I've paid for the thing I might as well keep it in case ... and good thing I did). The boot is much more comfortable and easier to walk in (ditched the crutches two weeks ago), and allows me to take it off and wiggle my ankle a bit. It's surprising how quickly you lose muscle mass - after two weeks in a splint/cast my calf had turned to jello ... nasty. After a few days of doing some ankle movements (keeping my toe still - really) it was a little less pathetic.

My four weeks are now up (as of a few days ago) and I'll have a followup Xray/visit this week and am fairly sure that I'll be set free. The broken part of the toe doesn't hurt, but the other side of the big toe must've had a nasty sprain, since it's still stiff and sore if I move it. As long as the bone's healing reasonably, though, which I think it is, I think I can at least get the boot off. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I've heard that purple is "in" ...

... but since when did my foot have to be fashionable?

Yup, I slipped down a few stairs on the top of my foot. On Christmas Eve (morning). Went to get it X-rayed on Christmas Day (and it's true that an ER on Christmas is quite quiet). Get to hop around on crutches for the near future. Yay. Still determined to Get Things Done while in the city, thus the aching muscles from navigating stores, malls, coffee shops, etc.

I was going to post a picture of my purple foot, but I seem to have forgotten to pack my USB cable so it'll get posted once I get home, along with the 57000 other pictures I need to post. The good news is that the knitting project (a knitted log cabin quilt-pattern afghan) is nearing completion, though I don't know if all the ends will get sewn in before I leave.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Three days to go...

and I'm feeling the time crunch. I'm frantically trying to finish up some knitting for Christmas (don't even want to mention the fact that I still haven't bought gifts for several people), and might have the major project presentable, if not 100% done, on time. Photos to come after Christmas...

Finally watched the Survivor finale (and a few other random shows, like the OC and an Ugly Betty rerun) while working on said knit project, and right about now I really dislike Jeff Probst, what with his obvious favouritism, hatred of certain contestants, and the usual misogyny. Quite unprofessional, and along with the snorefest that was this season (other than the Yul/underdog victory bit), I think I might call it quits on this show. Really, I can't stand the guy right about now, and it's not worth sitting through his idiocy to get sucked into another crapfest season.