Monday, January 3, 2022

Deep Breath, 2022


Yesterday, my niece and her two boys came for brunch and we had the loveliest time talking about raising boys, my research on Ancestry and life in general.  That's when we spotted the rather large Pileated Woodpecker on our apple tree.  It's a 'she' a friend tells me because this one is not sporting the red moustache worn by males.

It seems that we are all in a holding pattern, waiting to exhale.  This evening, we will have our New Year's Eve meal which was cancelled because our host came into contact with someone who had come into contact with someone with... I am always up for a Raclette when it's -24C!

I've gotten ambitious and begun my first colorwork sweater called Fern and Feather by Jennifer Steingass.  I am pleased with the result so far but the rest of the body is almost all done in German Short Rows which although make the sweater have a fitted look, require concentration to the very end.  The project is in a short hiatus for the time being.

I've started on Christmas 2022 knitting with the 21 Color Scarf by Woolstock Fibres.  The endless switching of colors make this scarf knitting go faster than usual.  The rhythm of the needles and the feel of the yarn make time fly and calm my nerves.  Knitting as meditation.

Piles of books punctuate the decor in our house and a Simple Abundance Gratitude Journal is always by my bedside.  Every night I write down 5 things to be grateful for. Last night: My wool duvet, thick snow on the trees, sausage lentil soup in the Instant Pot, a text from our son and morning tea made and delivered to me every morning by V...

Lately I've added the Book Outlet to my list of gratitudes.  Free shipping with orders over 45$. I often find gems and enlist friends into buying with me.  It makes for a steady flow of entertainment.  I should add Netflix and Apple TV and Crave and HBO to the list...

I'm up for any book recommendations you might have for me!

Stay warm.

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.