Sunday, July 18, 2021

Southern Alberta Triplet

Over the last month,  I’ve been learning about West Coast Salish knitting with author Sylvia Olsen who did her Master’s Degree on the subject. I read her wonderful book Unravelling Canada: 

In 2015, Sylvia Olsen and her partner, Tex, embarked on a cross-Canada journey from the Salish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to conduct workshops, exchange experiences with other knitters and, Olsen hoped, discover a fresh appreciation for Canada.  
Ive always wanted to do colorwork (knitting with more than one color at a time) and decided that Coast Salish knitting patterns (picture #2) were a good way to learn.

So Vlad and I took off early on Friday morning (picture 3 of our itinerary) to our first stop Custom Woolen Mills by Carlstairs AB. There, I purchased natural yarns that will allow me to make colorwork toques.  I also purchased wool socks and wool pillows for our bed.  I slept on my pillow last night and can tell you that I enjoyed it very much, firm without being hard, not hot and very comfortable.  I will be purchasing a wool duvet for winter later this year. The nice thing about a wool duvet is that the wool does not move around so you needn’t shake up the duvet to redistribute feathers!

Our next stop was for lunch at Pasu Farms (pics 4 to 7). Pasu Farms has a shop which specializes in sheep products, sheepskins, lotions, wool, etc. The view from the veranda of this working sheep farm is breathtaking.  The owner, Patrick Croquet de Rosemond was born on Mauritius and was delighted to speak French to Vlad and me and talk about his noble background.  The intriguing seed that you see in pic 4 is called a Coco de Mer is is over 150 years old. It was handed down to him by a great uncle. . The intriguing, goddess shape of this one makes it highly collectible.  According to our host, Coco de mer are the world’s largest seed.

From Pasu Farms we made our way to the outskirts of Cremona where we stopped for the night at an Air Bnb called: Krekwakwou. It is owned by Dutch people who have acres and acres of land with horses and dogs.  Pics 8 to 11 were taken there.  Vlad and I had a perfect two-person hot tub on our front porch and we made friends with the most adorable dog who stood up beside me without prompting on our deck!

Our before last stop in the area was less than 1 km away at the Fallen Timber Meadery where we had a tasting and purchased their Meadjito and Honey Buck ’session’ meads.  I highly recommend these  as light, refreshing and delicious summer drinks not too high in alcohol. Before heading home, we returned to Cremona for the most delicious pork ribs at the Cowboy Trail Smokehouse BBQ.

On our way home we stopped in Rocky Mountain House to fill up with gas and later in Alder Flats at the Grey Owl Meadery. Vlad and I have been coming to this Meadery over the last year as they make the most delicious mead in many flavours. It is 1.5 hours from our house and you can enjoy a free tasting and a charcuterie board (not free!) for lunch on their patio.  I highly recommend their Pear and Cardamom Mead. 

Vlad and I had a wonderful time and we feel truly blessed to be able to discover our province in this way. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Dad Turned 100 Yesterday

Yesterday,  all my siblings and I met for a little birthday party for Dad who turned 100!  My father is an extraordinary man.  Here is an article I wrote for the local paper in celebration of our home town's newest centenarian.

Dad is the youngest child. His mother is newly widowed.
Dad is the youngest. His mother is newly widowed.

Here are the four siblings several years later. The eldest daughter 
will soon leave for Québec and will die four years later.

Dad is about 20 years old here.

        In this picture, Mom is expecting me.  They are on their way to Mexico for a holiday. Dad is 36.

                                                        Here we are just a few months ago.

Monday, December 14, 2020

What I've been reading

 This is a short one to share some of my 2020 reads.  Hope you find some inspiration!

Favorite English language book:  The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles because of the main character's integrity and good values make her a real heroine to me.  I like historical fiction and this novel is based in New York, 1938.  It is a fantastic sociological portrait of the life of the priviledged and not-so-priviledged young people living 'the dream' in one of the world's most exciting cities. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow from the same author.  Amor Towles does not disappoint with a style of writing that captures the imagination and doesn't let it go...

Favorite French language book: La nuit de feu from Eric Emmanuel Schmitt - a true story about an awakening that happens on a cold and very dark desert night when the possibility of dying alone is very real for a young man..  The young man in questions later became a philosopher and writer.  Schmitt is one of France's most loved contemporary philosophers.

Close seconds: Clin d'oeil au temps qui passe by Antonine Maillet and Educated by Tara Westover. Clin d'oeil is well-written by one of French Canada's premier authors and intellectuals.  Maillet has led a very stimulating and admirable life which she recounts with the sagacity that only comes with age. 

Tara Westover's Educated is a biographical novel that takes place in a Mormon family whose father is bipolar. Westover's story is almost too incredible to believe and one can only admire her for breaking free from the chains of her family and religion.

Do not recommend: Le mur mitoyen and La route du Lilas and I must say I have forgotten what happens in The Turn of the Key.

Most of the books featured here are my two book clubs' selections.  While it is good to pick up a book you may not otherwise have read, some can be less pleasing.

Elinor Florence's two books: Wildwood and A Bird's Eye View are very very enjoyable reads. This author hails from Western Canada.  Wildwood is about a young American mother who is near penniless when she inherits a house in the Peace River area of Alberta and A Bird's Eye View is about a girl from the Canadian Prairies who enlists in WWII to become an aerial photographic interpreter and a hero.