Sunday, 23 January 2022

Men's knitted dorm boots

I just knitting a pair of dorm boots for Gord this evening.  I used Bernat Wool-Up Bulky (6 ply) and a 6.5mm round needle.   I made lots of pairs in the spring of 2020 and Gord's have worn out (he wears them all the time).


  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat

Mens Sizes:
Sm (8-9), M (9.5-10.5), Lg (11-12), XL (13)

Starting with Sole:
  • Cast on 52(55, 57, 59) stitches.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2(3,3,3), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k1. [56(59,61,63) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop. 
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4(5,5,5), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2. [60(63,65,67)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k6(7,7,7), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k3. [64(67,69,71)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k8(9,9,9), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4. [68(71,73,75) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, K24(25,26,27), yo, k10(11,11,11), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k5. [72(75,77,79)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: K6, yo, k(24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k24), yo, k6. [77 sts]
  • Row 12: Size M ONLY: K6, yo, k32, yo, k31, yo, k6. [78 sts]
  • Row 12: Size L ONLY: K6, yo, k to last 6 sts, yo, k6. [79 sts]
  • Row 12: Size XL ONLY: K39, yo, k40. [80 sts]
  • Row 13: Knit (knit any yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) P34(34,34,34,), PM, p9(10,11,12), PM, p34(34,34,34,).
  • Row 3: K27(27,27,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k27(27,27,27). [69(70,71,72) sts)
  • Row 4: Purl
  • Row 5: K23(23,23,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k23(23,23,23). [61(62,63,64)sts]
  • Row 6: Purl
  • Row 7: K35(36,37,38), ssk, turn. [60(61,62,63) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [59(60,61,62) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, turn. [58(59,60,61) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [57(58,59,60) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [41(42,43,44) sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, DON’T TURN, k14(14,14,14). [40(41,42,43) sts]
  • Row 28: P24(25,26,27), p2tog, p14(14,14,14). [39(40,41,42) sts]
  • Row 29: Size S/M ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit. Now proceed to row 32.
  • Row 29: Size L/XL ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit.
  • Row 30: Size L/XL ONLY: Purl
  • Row 31: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 32: P1, p2tog, p2tog, p across to last 5 sts, p2tog, p2tog, p1. [35(36,37,38) sts]
  • Row 33: Knit
  • Row 34: Purl
  • Rows 35-36: Rep rows 33 and 34 once more.

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 37: Sizes S/L ONLY: [k1,p1] 8(-,8,-)x more, k2tog, p1, [k1,p1] to end. [34(-,36,-) sts]
  • Row 37: Size M/XL ONLY: [k1, p1] to end.
  • Rows 38-45: Work 8 rows of 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slipper inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens. They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Monday, 17 January 2022

Book ~ "I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons" (2017) Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss

From Goodreads ~ Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

Kevin Hart is a stand-up comedian and actor.  I think the first movie I saw him in and when I first really became aware of him was Get Hard, a movie that came out in 2015.  I didn't have high expectations for it but found it funny.  So since then I've seen a few of his movies and liked them.  I like reading bios/autobios so thought I'd check out his book.

Hart's parents weren't married.  His mother wasn't overly happy when she found out she was pregnant again as she'd already had a son with Hart's father, who was a drug addict who was in and out of jail.  She was religious and raised her sons as a single mother.  She was a strict disciplinarian and had no qualms about smacking her kids with a belt or frying pan to bring them back in line.

Hart wasn't crazy about school and barely got through, something he now regrets.  He got a job as a sneaker salesperson where he excelled right after he graduated from high school.  But he got a taste of performing and that became his dream.  He worked hard, performed in small clubs, was mentored by more experienced comedians and didn't often say "no" to opportunities that came his way.

I found the writing style to be honest and was surprised at some of the stories he told that maybe he should have kept to himself (things maybe his kids shouldn't know).  I found the stories from his childhood appalling but Hart now appreciates the structure and discipline his mother instilled (it sounded to me like it bordered on child abuse).  As a head's up, he swears A LOT so if you're easily offended, you won't like this book.

I was enjoying getting to know Hart but got turned off when he talked about cheating on his first wife and how much he loves his second wife and she's his soulmate (they married in 2017) ... but then he cheated on her while she was pregnant with their first child (after the book was written).  When he gets drunk, he pees in things like hats and purses and that didn't stop him from drinking.  He seems to think this is funny but I found it disturbing.  It didn't seem like he takes drinking and driving seriously ... he would get hammered and then drive and he's lucky he never killed anyone.  When he was caught on a DUI, his solution was to stop driving not drinking (he hired a driver who quit when Hart peed in his hat). 

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Cat Shelter Building Workshop, Toronto Street Cats, Toronto, ON

I spent this morning volunteering with Toronto Street Cats building cat shelters.  The workshops are held throughout the fall and winter season in the garage of the Toronto Humane Society.

It's my fourth year volunteering with them ... it's so nice helping the kitties in Toronto keep warm and dry during the cold winter.

Our mission: improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services, free for feral cats, and building overwintering shelters. We are also working to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return (TNR).

We are part of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, working together to implement strategic TNR programs to sterilize Toronto’s feral cats, decrease shelter intake and reduce euthanasia rates.

There are lots of strict protocols to follow ... we were all socially distanced and required to wear masks. We built some cat shelters and also refurbished some.

My pal, Darlene, and I

We taped the insulated walls together in the bins and then taped the tubing entrances ... I started with the first part (I like it better) then moved on to taping the tubing to the shelters.  Thom cut the tubing for the entrance ways, cut the Styrofoam for insulated walls and drilled holes into the bins after the insulated walls had been taped inside.  Judy put the straw in the bins and closed them up.

Friday, 14 January 2022

Book ~ "All Her Little Secrets" (2021) Wanda M. Morris

From Goodreads ~ Ellice Littlejohn seemingly has it all: an Ivy League law degree, a well-paying job as a corporate attorney in midtown Atlanta, great friends and a “for fun” relationship with a rich, charming executive - her white boss, Michael.

But everything changes one cold January morning when Ellice goes to meet Michael ... and finds him dead with a gunshot to his head.

And then she walks away like nothing has happened. Why? Ellice has been keeping a cache of dark secrets, including a small-town past and a kid brother who’s spent time on the other side of the law. She can’t be thrust into the spotlight - again.

But instead of grieving this tragedy, people are gossiping, the police are getting suspicious, and Ellice, the company’s lone black attorney, is promoted to replace Michael. While the opportunity is a dream-come-true, Ellice just can’t shake the feeling that something is off.

When she uncovers shady dealings inside the company, Ellice is trapped in an impossible ethical and moral dilemma. Suddenly, Ellice’s past and present lives collide as she launches into a pulse-pounding race to protect the brother she tried to save years ago and stop a conspiracy far more sinister than she could have ever imagined.


Ellice is Black and grew up very poor in Georgia.  She and her younger brother, Sam, are fatherless and their mother is not going to win any mother of the year awards.  Thankfully she has Vera, a neighbour, to turn to.  Ellice works hard and gets a scholarship and heads off to school and doesn't look back.  She feels bad about leaving her brother behind but she knows she has to get out, leaving her past behind.

Today she is a Black lawyer in her forties in Atlanta and has been having an affair with Michael, her white boss, for years.  They have a meeting scheduled for first thing in the morning and when Ellice arrives, she finds Michael dead in his office, an apparent suicide.  Rather than dealing with it and getting involved (so she can keep her past safe), she races to her office and pretends to react when he is discovered.  Ellice is immediately promoted to Michael's role which she should be pleased about but she knows there is something funky going on.  She is the lone Black on the executive committee made up of older white men and none are showing her respect.

When it's determined that Michael had been murdered and Ellice discovers there may be some shifty business happening in the company, she wonders if she made the right decision in accepting the promotion.  As she starts checking into things, she realizes she has to start watching her back as she suspects she may be framed.

I liked this book ... the story was interesting and intense at times.  I liked the writing style ... it's written in first person perspective in Ellice's voice.  Ellice had everything but couldn't escape her past.  As a head's up, there is violence and swearing.  It's the debut novel from this author and I look forward to more in the future.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens. They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Book ~ "Best in Show" (2021) David Rosenfelt

From Goodreads ~ In this Christmas mystery, lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, are on the beat after a body turns up in the snow and a journalist is the prime suspect.

Christmas has come early to the town of Paterson, New Jersey, in the form of a snowstorm that dumps two feet of snow on the ground. Lawyer Andy Carpenter likes snow – white Christmas and all that – but it can cause problems for the walks he takes his dogs on every day.

When Andy’s golden retriever, Tara, goes to play in the snow and instead discovers a body, Andy ends up on the phone with the local newspaper editor. The murder victim is Mayor Alex Oliva, who had an infamous relationship with the newspaper. Last year a young reporter published an expose, and Oliva had him fired for libel. Now, the young reporter – and prime suspect – is in need of a lawyer.

Andy agrees to take the case, though it’s not looking good this holiday season. The evidence is piling up faster than the snow in "Best in Snow", the next Christmas mystery in the bestselling Andy Carpenter series from David Rosenfelt. 

Andy is a criminal defense lawyer who doesn't want any clients.  Because of the money his father left him and some lucrative cases, he is able to not work and spend his time with his friend, Willie, running the Tara Foundation, a dog rescue that he and Willie formed.  He is married to Laurie, they have a young son, Ricky, and he is enjoying his life.

One evening when Andy was walking their three dogs in a local park, one starts digging in the snow and Andy discovers a body.  It turns out it is the mayor.  Recently Bobby, a reporter, had written a story about the mayor, which turned out to be false and he was fired from the newspaper.  It appears that Bobby wanted revenge and murdered the mayor.  Things don't look good for Bobby, especially since he was found unconscious nearby in his car and the mayor's blood was found in the trunk.  Vince, Bobby's former boss, is a friend of Andy's and asks him to take the case.  Despite not wanting to ever take on another case, he does.

This is the 24th in the Andy Carpenter series (I've read them all) and I have been liking this series.  Even though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone (so you don't need to have read the ones before it to know what is going on).  I like the writing style as it was funny, sarcastic and amusing.  It was written mostly in first person perspective in Andy's voice.  There were a lot of characters, though, and I had a hard time sometimes keeping them straight.

I like Andy ... I think he would be a hoot to be around and he's quite generous with his time and money (he never charges for his services).  Part of Andy's team is the K-Team (Laurie, a former police officer and now an investigator; Marcus, an investigator with "persuasive" reasoning skills; Cody, a former police officer; and Simon Garfunkel, Cody's former canine partner).  Sam is his accountant who is also a computer hack who wants to be part of the action.

Saturday, 8 January 2022

College Falafel, Toronto, ON

I've been craving a donair lately and stopped to picked up a couple for lunch today at my usual spot, College Falafel (at Ossington Avenue and College Street).  The owners, Oljana and Bard, are very nice and friendly and they make good donairs!


There are a wide variety of condiments but traditionally a donair has meat, tomatoes, onions and donair sauce.  The donair is served in a pita pocket.  The meat was good and tender and the sauce was tasty.  I got mine with tomatoes (I'm not a fan of onions) and Gord's had onions (he's not a fan of tomatoes).

Cat Shelter Building Workshop, Toronto Street Cats, Toronto, ON

I spent this morning volunteering with Toronto Street Cats building cat shelters.  The workshops are held throughout the fall and winter season in the garage of the Toronto Humane Society.

It's my fourth year volunteering with them ... it's so nice helping the kitties in Toronto keep warm and dry during the cold winter.

Our mission: improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services, free for feral cats, and building overwintering shelters. We are also working to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return (TNR). 

We are part of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, working together to implement strategic TNR programs to sterilize Toronto’s feral cats, decrease shelter intake and reduce euthanasia rates.

There are lots of strict protocols to follow ... we were all socially distanced and required to wear masks. There were seven of us and we made 43 shelters (for a total of 551 so far this season) and 35 shelters were sold.


It was nice to catch up with my pal, Darlene.


We taped the insulated walls together in the bins and then taped the tubing entrances ... I started with the first part (I like it better) then moved on to taping the tubing to the shelters.  Thom cut the tubing for the entrance ways, cut the Styrofoam for insulated walls and drilled holes into the bins after the insulated walls had been taped inside.  Judy put the straw in the bins and closed them up.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Book ~ "Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight" (2021) Janet Evanovich

From Goodreads ~ When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude who she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy.

Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way as she sets the stage to draw Wednesday out from behind his computer and into the real world.

Stephanie works for her bail bondsman cousin and Lulu, a former 'ho, works with her. As usual, they have a couple people they have to track down who didn't show up for their court date. Stephanie and Joe, a police officer, are still together but Diesel is back in the picture after two years.  They are both looking for a dangerous hacker named Oswald.  With nowhere to stay, Diesel crashes at Stephanie's.

This is the 27th in the Stephanie Plum series and I've read them all. As in previous books, Evanovich continues to follow her formula:
  • Though dating long time boyfriend, Joe, she is lusting after both Joe and Ranger (and now Diesel) ... check
  • Lulu talks about food all the time and eating lots ... check
  • Lulu gets mad when people insult her about her weight ... check
  • Stephanie goes home to mooch meals from her parents ... check
  • Ranger calls Stephanie "Babe" and just wants to have sex with her with no commitment ... check
  • Stephanie's car explodes ... check

This book was okay ... I found the hacker storyline a bit boring.  It's written in first person perspective from Stephanie's point of view.  Since it's basically the same story over and over, though, I stopped buying these books a long time ago and now borrow them from the library. It's a mindless familiar read.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens. They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken, Toronto, ON

Gord and I picked up lunch today at Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken  (just east of Gladstone/Queen W).


We got 5 pieces of boneless dark meat chicken (with a tiny kick of heat).  He got a side of coleslaw and I got a side of mac ‘n cheese. 

Float Toronto, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went for an hour float this morning at Float Toronto (on Queen Street W at Gladstone).  We find floats very relaxing and try to do them every three months or so.


Also known as Floatation Therapy, REST Therapy (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) or Sensory Deprivation, floating involves lying in a salt-water solution in a specially designed tank (often referred to as a float tank, sensory deprivation tank, or isolation tank). Your experience in a floatation tank is about everything you won’t be doing. You won’t be fighting gravity. The 850 pounds of Epsom salt in the water takes care of that while you lie on your back. The water is kept at a skin receptor neutral temperature which means that you lose track of where your body ends and the water begins. Your ears stay just below the water, and the tanks are insulated against sound – noise from the outside is unable to reach you. After you shut the door to the tank, you float in total darkness. 

During your float the outside world is gone and amazing things happen. It turns out that when you’re not fighting gravity or constantly taking in information your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. Your mind is free to navigate without distraction, your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins, and your body gets to rest, de-stress and heal. It’s likely to be the most relaxing thing you’ve ever experienced.

Because of COVID, the lounge is closed

The tank is high enough for me to stand up, wide enough for me to stretch my arms out and my fingers just touch the side and a lot longer then me.  Today I turned the music and the light off so was in total quiet and blackness.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Book ~ "Money Like You Mean It: Personal Finance Tactics for the Real World" (2021) Erica Alini

From Goodreads ~ Get a job, buy a house, spend less than you make, and retire at sixty-five. That’s advice for a world that has largely disappeared. Even good jobs today often have no guarantee of stability. Home prices have reached the stratosphere. Meanwhile, student debt drags you down just as you're trying to take off in life.

To survive and thrive in today’s reality, you need a whole new personal finance tool kit.

Global News money reporter Erica Alini blends the big picture with practical advice to give you a deeper understanding of the economic forces that are shaping your financial struggles and how to overcome them.

Packed with concrete tips, "Money Like You Mean It" covers all the bases: from debt to investing and retirement, plus renting versus buying, and even how to tell whether a side gig is really worth the effort. It’s the essential road map you need to make it in the current economy.


I work in the financial services industry so books written by Canadians about things to think about here in Canada tend to catch my eye.

This book covers many topics including having various savings buckets (retirement, house, emergencies, etc.), the different kinds of debt, saving for a house, renting versus buying, being an employee versus self-employed or freelancing, saving for retirement and the different plan options (RRSPs versus TFSAs),  different investment options, insurance, whether couples should have their own bank accounts or joint accounts, RESPs, having your family help you financially buy a house, and more!

The author states right away that the target audience for this book is the middle class.  The writing style is casual and is at a high level.  There are lots of examples to further explain things and input from those in the industry.  It's a good book to give you broad knowledge about many subjects you may not have known you have to think about.

Local Public Eatery, Toronto, ON

Gord usually has lunch every Friday at the Local Public Eatery (in Liberty Village). Today is the last day for indoor dining in Ontario (due to COVID restrictions) for a while so we had lunch there.


I was comfortable as they had protocols in place. We had to show our vaccination certificates and ID when we arrived, the staff were masked and there was physical distancing.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Book ~ "Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today" (2022) Valerie Bertinelli

From Goodreads ~ Valerie Bertinelli shares an inspiring blueprint that offers women in midlife support and hope. She shares personal stories that many women will relate to from her past decade: hitting her fifties, taking care of her dying mother, the evolving relationship with her husband, a career change, her relationship with food, and the battle to believe in herself as she is. 

Despite her success receiving Emmys for her Food Network show and critical praise for her books and cookbook, Bertinelli still judged herself harshly if she gained a pound or showed too many wrinkles. But after her mother died, she found an old recipe box with notes of the strong women that came before her, reminding her that she has to find out who she is and take care of herself. Saying, “enough already!” Bertinelli set out on a journey to love herself and see that perfection is not the goal; it’s the joy we can find every day in our lives, our loved ones, and the food we share. 

Valerie Bertinelli and I are the same age ... I was a fan of One Day at a Time back in the day and she seems very likeable.  I like reading bios/autobios so thought I'd check it out.

The book is about her coming to terms with her weight and her body image, which she has been obsessed about since she was young.  She loves to cook and eat and loves cooking for others.

She talks about growing up and having fun cooking with her Italian paternal side of the family, not having a close relationship with her parents, meeting and marrying Eddie Van Halen, having and raising their son, splitting up with and divorcing Eddie, the series she's done since One Day at a Time, how she has been able to turn her love of cooking into a new career and more.

The book reads like a diary covering different parts of her life in chronological order (the chapters are labeled), which felt a bit odd since something from 2020, for example, is written about in current tense.

I knew she had remarried but didn't know Eddie had until I read about it in the book.  She barely mentions Tom, her second husband, until the end when she mentions they had recently separated.  She talks about Eddie and Janie, his second wife, by saying a few times throughout the book that their marriage was in the process of ending.  It was nice that Valerie and Eddie could remain great friends and co-parents but it seemed like they were closer emotionally (physically and virtually) than they were with their recent spouses.

With her love of cooking, it was nice to have her include detailed recipes of some of the things she loves to make like chocolate cake, pizza, lasagna, etc.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens. They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Happy new year!


I wish you health ... so you may enjoy each day in comfort.

I wish you the love of friends and family ... and peace within your heart.

I wish you the beauty of nature ... that you may enjoy the work of Mother Nature.

I wish you wisdom to choose priorities ... for those things that really matter in life.

I wish you generosity so you may share ... all good things that come to you.

I wish you happiness and joy ... and blessings for the New Year.

I wish you the best of everything ... that you so well deserve.