Blogstalking #2 – PURSE GUTS

It’s the second week of blogstalking and I’ve fallen behind. I have to post the contents of my purse and this week has been crazy. Here they are

First up is the purse itself. I only really started carrying a purse about 2 years ago and this is the second purse I’ve carried for any length of time. It’s a Small Lotue totefrom Overland Equipment and has a polka dot interior.


Second is the front pocket.


Here we have my ID/access badge for my office at school, some TTC tokens, a tape measure and some footsie things from a show store. I was thinking they might help centre pull balls not collapse, but I haven’t tried them yet. Don’t worry, I didn’t use them to try on shoes, I put them directly in my purse.

Now’s where things get difficult. I’ve labeled things on these pictures so I can point them out easier.

Hopefully you can see the labels.

(A) Assignments for the class I TA this term (B) Partial Solutions for the assignments (C) Wallet (D) Bandaid (E) Hair barrette (F) Sunglasses/Hairband (G) Cell phone (H) Glasses Case


How’s about them labels? Can you see them?

(A) JCPDF Files for Multicrystalline Gold (B) Yogurt Spoons (C) Maps and train times for my Monday course at another university (D) Canadian Tire Money (E) More Bandaids (F) Fiver (G) Misc. Biking stuff (Energy Gel, headlight) (H) Advil cold and sinus – relieves my migranes (I) Geocaching Treasures (J) Cycling routes map of my town (K)Pens (L) Red Pen O’ Doom (M) Money (N) Makeup I never wear (O) Gum – Takes me months to chew a pack – I think this one is 6 months old. (P) Spilled Advil (Q) Empty Advil Bottle (R) Stupid Advil bottle top that came unscrewed and caused (P) and (Q) to become what they are (S) Receipt for my new Keens in brown! (T) Ipod for train listening and car entertaining.

There was one question about last weeks post that I feel compelled to answer. Kelly pointed out that the scenery doesn’t change much when I bike in the living room. What’s cropped out of the picture is the TV showing a bike race – I was biking along to the race. When we’re out on the road we don’t take many pictures. Perhaps that’ll be another post – out and about on the bikes.


The promised Algonquin post

Last week at this time were were paddling our way out of Algonquin Park. It’s a large park in central Ontario with something for everyone. You can drive through the main road and see trees and lakes and stuff. you can stop and go hiking on one of the numerous trails. You can camp by driving your car or RV up to a site, hiking in, or – the one Algonquin is most known for – canoe in.

The park is where Tom Thomson was inspired to paint many of his famous paintings. He died under mysterious circumstances on Canoe Lake. I always get a little chill when I paddle up or down Canoe lake for that reason.

This year we headed out with our friends P&S for a long weekend in the park. Previous years we’ve gone with other groups, but we try to get at least a long weekend up there every year. We often go in the fall to avoid the bugs and other people. Usually the leaves are changing as well. One year we did a 9 or 10 day trip. It was amazing. P&S have an adorable little girl and this was their first time away from her overnight, so it was a big step for them. We headed up to their cottage Thursday night to get all of our equipment sorted out and to get a jump start on the drive the next morning.

Friday morning we got up early and drove into the park, stopping to pick up canoes on the way. The weather forecast predicted rain and thunderstorms late in the afternoon so we wanted to get to a site and get set up. The way Algonquin works meant we had a booked campsite on a specific lake so we had to try our best to make it there. After loading up the canoes we set out – straight into a headwind.

See the headwind? It doesn’t show up well on camera, but at points there were 2 or 3 foot waves with whitecaps and we’d see P&S’s canoe drift sideways 8-10 feet with a gust of wind.

Wow. That was a struggle. We paddled and paddled and didn’t get that far. But we’d said we’d make it to Clydegale Lake! So we kept paddling. D kept telling me “When we get to point X we’ll be in the lee of the shore and it will get easier”. No such luck. After 2 portages and seeing the front that would bring the rain go over head we were on Clydegale, but it’s name was true – there was a gale blowing in our faces. We had hoped to make it halfway down the lake to an island campsite, but with the wind we weren’t making much progress at all. I had D pull up the shore and went running through the woods to find a campsite, so we pulled up and bushwacked instead of getting out into the wind again.

We got camp set up before the rain started, then sat under a tarp while it poured, ocasionally heading out the make sure the tents weren’t getting went and to stoke the fire. A little chipmunk came to join us under the tarp.

After the rain the sun come out just before the sunset and there was a beautiful double rainbow. We had the old camera with us and we couldn’t get it all in, so this is the shot I have.

The next day was lovely so we went paddling back to the second portage to check out the waterfall. It was lovely and we got several pretty pictures.

Sunday we packed up the tents and campsite and paddled out – what had taken 5 hours to paddle on Friday took between 3and 3.5 on Sunday with a tailwind. We made it home in time to order pizza for dinner and start the smokey laundry game. All-in-all it was a great weekend despite rain, temperatures dropping to freezing horrific headwinds and long drives. We’ll be back next year.

Who am I?

I’ve joined a thing called “blogstalking” where we get an assignment every week to write about on our blogs. This week is the initial week and the assignment is very simple – Who am I?

I knew the assignment last Friday and I’ve thought a lot about it in the past few days. Defining myself by answering that question is very hard for me. I have may facets and hats that I wear depending on what’s going on.

So here goes answering the “Who am I?”

If you ask me how old I am, I’ll instinctively answer 18, then if I think about it, I’ll add a decade. Then thinking again, I’ll add another year (for the next 2.5 months)

I’m a Canadian and I wear an Iron Ring, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever work as a typical engineer again after 3 years as a quality engineer in the electronics industry.

My discipline of engineering has a theme song – Material Girl.

I really like understanding why the world around us works the way it does and notice little things that most other people ignore.

I’m currently a PhD student using really big equipment to look at very little things (billionths of a metre anyone?).

I knit. I’ve knit since I was small, but I really took it up again a few years ago. My mother and aunts tell me I inherited my abilities from my paternal grandmother. I still have the last sweater she knit – a striped raglan square neck short sleeved sweater using up the odd balls in her stash when she knew she wasn’t going to be able to knit any more. Still fits me thanks to fashion going from baggy to fitted.

beth on bike

I bike. I love my road bike. I feel like I’m flying when I ride. I keep trying running but the scenery doesn’t change fast enough. With biking there’s more to look at so I can stick with it. I was trying to bike the length of the tour de france this year but I had to give up. I think I’m at 1500 kms for the year right now, but I’ll have to double that next year to reach my goal.


My husband is a great enabler. He can walk into any store and pick out the cashmere. The ladies at my LYS are a amazed they can hand him a ball of yarn and he’ll identify the fibre content by feel. He does have many other redeeming qualities – like letting me follow in his draft while biking and being my #1 supporter in all I do. Looks damn cute in handknit socks as well.

We have 2 cats Fred and Ginger. Named backwards of course – Fred’s the orange one. We adopted them last year and it was an up and down month with 2 very sick kitties. Now they rule the roost.

I really like the cottage and being outdoors so I was very happy to spend a weekend canoe tripping/camping in Algonquin this weekend. The sunsets! The wind! The rain! The food! My house smells like smoke right now but I don’t want it to go away as it’s a great reminder of good times with great friends.


As a random factoid, I’m great with remembering numbers. Dial a phone number 3 times and it’s in for good. 14 digit library card? Can rhyme it off at the lady so I don’t have to dig for it.

That’s what I came up with on the spur of the moment but as this blogstalking thing goes on there’ll be more and more to learn.  Stay tuned tomorrow – if I get my act in gear I’ll post more camping pictures and a better description of the weekend

Where does the time go?

All text blog post this week. Don’t know where the past few weeks have gone.

Summer’s over, the weather took a turn for the cold now.  Hopefully the lawn will come back, it’s very dead.

Had a busy few weeks getting caught back up on life.  Right now I’m still up waiting for the khaki load to dry so they don’t get wrinkled.  Why are women’s khakis made of thinner material that wrinkles so much more then men’s khakis? Makes me grumpy.

Went to see the Cirque de Soleil today. Wonderful show.  Contortionists, acrobats and an awesome spinning wheel thing I can’t describe.

My sister’s visiting from Ireland this week, I’m trying to convince her to go camping in Algonquin with us next weekend. It’s not working.  She’s never been, we’ve got a spot in a canoe, but she’s wussing out.

School’s started up again and I have my LAST CLASS EVER starting tomorrow. I have to go to a different university to take it – it requires about .5 hours on public transit to get there.  No way I’m driving it!  Should be good for knitting time and all the yarn stores are closed on Monday nights so I won’t blow money on that.

LAST CLASS EVER because once I’m done the PhD there’s no more classes. Sure, maybe a CPR class or a teaching class, but this is the LAST CLASS required for my degree requirements.  Boy is it going to be exciting when it’s over.

Downside? There might be an exam on my 30th birthday. Yup, exam in a different city from 5 till 6:30 on my birthday.  No-one said school would be easy, but it really does seem to like messing up the big life events.

What else. Been biking lots. Loving the cooler weather for that. Really have to get my goals in gear for next year. I think I’m about 1500 kms in for this year. That’s about 1/2 of the tour.  I’m thinking that next year when my parking pass expires in the summer I might not renew it for July and August. It would cost the same for 5 or 6 day passes, so I’d have 5 or 6 days I could drive, the rest I’d have to bike.  That might work… have to think about it.

OK, I think I hear D folding pants so I better go help, otherwise I might get a bad wife point.  DARNIT I think he’s done.  Stealthy dude – I hear him feeding the cats now and that’s the last thing we do before we go to bed.  Add one bad wife point to my tally. <pout>