I've been trying out some different knitting patterns. Hopefully soon I will unveil a few of the finished projects.
Here is a sneak peek at one of my "works in progress".
|It is a little baby cap.
I've also been busy making and cancelling appointments. Don't you hate it when you wait for an event and the hosts/organizers cancel? This has happened twice this past weekend for two events I was looking forward to later in the month. On the other hand, that is probably just what I needed right now so I can catch up on things around the house and all the budgetary matters (bill payments and tax issues).
On Thursday night, I did get together with 3 people I know and 23 more that I didn't. My friend who is an acupuncture doctor organized a dinner for the Chinese New Year; which this year, is called, the Year of the Dragon. Chinese New Year actually started on Monday but we had our dinner on Thursday night to avoid the crowds.
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as "Spring Festival," the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūnjié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western Carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēngyuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chúxī (除夕) or "Eve of the Passing Year." Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year"....
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年; pinyin: Nián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount. (Source: Wikipedia)
With such a large group of diners, we ended up sitting at 4 different tables. There were 9 at my table. On my left were Madeline and her husband Alfred, an elderly couple. Alfred is blind so I helped him by explaining the various dishes that we were being served and by making sure he had enough to eat. On the right of me were two women, Freida and Suzette, who are now Canadian citizens but originate from Texas. Freida hosts a radio program on international women's issues and Suzette is a gardener. Across from me sat a man whose name escapes me though I've met him before and his wife, Victoria. The man is originally from Tehran, Iran and his wife is Canadian. They recently closed down their restaurant business which is too bad since their food was very good. It is very difficult to make a go of a restaurant in this city and so many of them close every year. Fortunately the couple each has other work. Rounding out the table were two women, Bernadette, who works at one of the larger local grocery stores and Trudy,who I think lives in my acupuncture doctor's building. The entire group was friendly. There was not a quiet moment or lull in the conversation.
It was my first time at this particular restaurant and besides very tasty food, it was also very good value for money. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the food until we were almost finished.
|This photo was taken near the end of our meal. The green beans to the left and the chicken cashew to the right, were two of my favourite dishes.
The restaurant, Szechuan Chili Restaurant, is a humble restaurant tucked away in a corner of a small strip mall on a busy street. It is not a place, I would normally pass on my way to anywhere so I was happy to try it. I'm always open to new places to eat especially when I'm with such a large group of people.
Our menu consisted of: spring rolls, deep fried wonton, Szechuan Chili Dry Ginger Beef, Breaded Lemon Chicken, Mixed Four Kind of Vegetables, Deluxe Orange Peel Chicken, Fried Green Been Szechuan Style, Sweet and Sour Pork, Chicken Chow Mein and BBQ Pork & Shrimp Fried Rice. To top it off it was suggested that we order two more dishes to make sure we had enough to eat. So a few of the ladies ordered for the rest of us and decided upon Diced Chicken with Cashew Nut and a prawn dish which was loaded with vegetables. I would say that every dish was great but I especially loved the vegetable dishes and the green bean dish. Lemon Chicken seems to be extremely popular because by the time it got to Freida and I there was not much left. Nonetheless, I did not go hungry. In fact, I could not partake of the Dry Ginger Beef or the Orange Peel Chicken which are the two dishes that arrived last.
It turns out that Alfred's favourite dish is Chili Dry Ginger Beef. So we gladly had it wrapped up along with the remaining rice and vegetables for he and Madeline to eat later.
I would like to end with another quote from a well known, Canadian financial expert
... Chinese Dragons, unlike western dragons, are benevolent creatures. They offer you the chance to reach for the brass ring, to dream, and to make your dreams come true. Spring is particularly important to the Dragon, so what you put in motion in this spring will carry you through the year.Lest you think Lucky is all in the mind, let me point you to a stody done by a Professor Richard Wiseman at Britain’s University of Hertfordshire who studied lucky people for ten years. He found that folks who feel lucky do differ from those who do not, but not because of some outside force. It turns out that “lucky” people pay more attention to their surroundings, are more extroverted and open-minded and are optimist. Since the soul of “luck” is opportunity, the more opportunity you encounter, and the more willing you are to see that opportunity, the luckier you will be. (Source Gail Vaz-Oxlade)
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
(Best Wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year!)
P.S. If you missed my post on the appeal for Jeremiah, please read here.