Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween - at Carp Farmers Market

Last Saturday was the final weekly Farmers Market at the Carp Fair Grounds.

Terry and I drove over to buy a few things.

A bitterly cold wind prevented us from lingering outdoors.

I felt sorry for the vendors who had to stand for hours in it.

But children...

... and pets - in Halloween costumes seemed oblivious to the weather!

They were having enjoying themselves!

Costumes and treats - a great way to end the selling season!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pain Free Knitting

Not long after completing my white sweater, I started another knitting project using a slightly thicker, stiffer yarn...

Before long, my wrists - and particularly my thumbs - started hurting... a lot!

This isn't the first time that has happened, but I didn't want the problem to get worse. After all, I love knitting! What if it got so bad that I'd have to totally give up this creative pleasure?!

After googling "wrist pain from knitting" and "sore thumb from knitting" - I found several sites that had hand exercises specifically for knitters. My favorites are these exercises on the "dummies" website: 10 Hand and Shoulder Exercises for Knitters and seven hand exercises on the "We are Knitters" blog.

(Click on the bold type above to find the sites.)

I also noticed an interesting book entitled - Kitting Comfortably: The Ergonomics of Handknitting. After reading a glowing review, I was hopeful: Could this book - written by a physiotherapist who is also a knitter - help me knit painlessly again?

I purchased it from a Canadian online yarn shop and have begun to read it.

Not far into the book, I've realized that there are different types of yarns - some softer than others - and there are different types of needles, some slipperier than others. I've never really connected the two - yarn that doesn't have a lot of give knits up more easily on slippery (plastic or metal) needles... Slippery, silky yarn knits up more easily on needles that don't have slippery surfaces... like the wooden needles I'm currently using.

Perhaps part of my problem is that I'm knitting stiff yarn on non-slippery wooden needles... and that is putting a lot of pressure on my wrists...

This realization has been a real eye-opener...

So now, I've stopped knitting for a few weeks - to give my wrists a chance to heal - while I read more. I would be so thrilled if I could manage my pain and perhaps even get rid of my wrist ailment for good. It has been plaguing me for several years now, and physiotherapy only helps until I start knitting again. Not a good solution for someone who loves to knit!

As an aside, when I showed the book to my daughter, she commented: So you're not the only one who has this problem...

No, I guess I'm not! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

White Sweater - Finishing Touch

I've done a lot of knitting this summer. After surgery in June, there wasn't much else I could do.

One of my summer knitting projects was this Mary Maxim sweater - knit from the top down with very soft synthetic yarn.

I knew it would be a favorite.

But looking at this picture, I noticed how wrinkly it looked. Wouldn't it look better flattened...?

My mother always cautioned against blocking sweater pieces. She feared mis-shaping them.

But this sweater was knit all in one piece - no pieces to join.

Looking online, I found a few methods for "blocking" or flattening sweaters. I decided to try simply using a damp press cloth and an iron set at medium heat.

When I was finished pressing it, the sweater was a little damp, so I left it lying on the ironing board to dry.

When I tried it on later, it looked so much better! I'm so glad I blocked it!

Maybe I should go back and do the same with all the other sweaters I have made! Pressing adds a perfect finishing touch.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Daily Exploring...

I'm trying to walk 10,000 steps (at least!) daily - until ice and snow arrive...

Fortunately, a field near our house provides ample space for walking.

One day last week, I wandered over to the college and discovered a new large reservoir for rain water... (Perhaps for melting snow in spring, as well.)

To my amazement, it already had some water in it. (Has it rained that much recently?!)
Then, near the soccer field, I discovered two young maple trees with the most perfect (now red) leaves...

I picked up several to press and keep.

You never know what you'll see when you go out for a stroll!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Walking in Wakefield

My goal these days is to walk at least 10,000 steps daily - preferably outdoors.

A few days ago, Terry and I headed by car to Wakefield, Quebec, for a long walk.

Although the weather had been sunny in Ottawa, half an hour away in the Gatineau hills of Quebec, the sky was overcast with a few showers.

Luckily we had an umbrella in the trunk!

Fortunately, the beautiful scenery made up for the disappointing weather.

We parked beside the red covered bridge and walked through it into town.

Part of the walking path follows the old railway line that used to bring tourists from Ottawa - back in the days of steam engines...

Here is where the trains would turn around.

The walking / cycling path is part of the Trans-Canada Trail.

We stopped to have lunch at l'Hibou, a cafe owned by one of Terry's former co-workers.

I had the veggie burger - which was excellent!

(Next to our table stood a potted lemon tree - with a lemon growing on it!)

Walking back to the bridge, we surpassed our 10,000 step goal.

Walking in nature - always fun!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Another Way of Sharing Books

There are a few "little free libraries" for sharing books in town. The idea behind them is to share books: take a book and give a book. Some have been set up in US parks, according to the Little Free Library website (here).

I've found them in Canada as well. Occasionally I come across them in different neighborhoods. I saw this one in the Glebe.

Maybe I should set up a "little library" near the road on our street? I wondered. I have a lot of books to share.

But it would take a lot of work to do, I concluded - and in winter the little library box could be inaccessible, surrounded with mounds of snow.

But it's a friendly, personal way of sharing.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sharing Books

One of my goals these days is to give away books I no longer want to read. I often give them to a church second-hand book store... or to our public library's used book store called "Second Editions."

The problem with taking Terry along, when I drop off books, is that he starts to browse... and then buys a few!

(I shouldn't blame him... As a fellow book-lover, it's easy for me to do, too!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Barron Canyon Hike

Years ago, I read about the Barron Canyon - a park not too far from us in Eastern Ontario.

Every year or so, I'd mention it...

But it never became part of our travel plans.

I recently looked up more information about it...

And discovered that there was a 1 mile (1.6 km) circular trail overlooking the canyon.

It was near the entrance to Algonquin Park - near Pembroke, where a childhood friend of Terry's lives.

Why not combine a hike with a visit to John and Wendy? I suggested.

Before long, Terry was on the phone - and they expressed interest in coming with us.

So we headed off.

I was glad I had a hiking stick with me - the steep hilly terrain, covered with wet leaves, was slippery at times. I didn't think to wear hiking shoes.

There were steep drops into the river below... (I wouldn't bring young children.)

Later on, we drove down to look at the river from a lower level.

Another time, I'd like to try canoeing down the river. That could be fun!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

African Violets in Bloom

Years ago, I was given a dozen small African Violet plants.

They were a gift from a neighbor who no longer wanted to care for them. Some never survived the move to our much cooler house.

There are different kinds of African violets. When I received them, the pots were all carefully labeled.  At the time, I didn't bother keeping track of their names. Now I wish I had!

Half a dozen of these plant gifts are still going strong in our house, and remind me of that kind neighbor who no longer lives across the street.

The ones currently in bloom are all next to windows - but not in direct sun. This one sits in the shade of our carport, facing east.

I've never figured out their blooming season - it seems somewhat erratic.

These are currently in bloom.

Their flowers aren't showy - but I enjoy them nonetheless.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Back to Paper Drinking Straws

Drinking straws used to be made of paper... Or at least I think I were! But that was a while ago...

With concern for all the plastic waste in our garbage dumps, some communities are banning plastic drinking straws.

In one of those communities, Terry and I were recently served water with a large paper drinking straw in it...

After using it, I decided that I'd rather have no straw in a glass of water - but in a delicious milk shake, I'd be  willing to put up with the slightly unpleasant taste.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Souvenir T-Shirts

In my efforts to get rid of things we no longer use, I've been going through upstairs closets where our sons have left behind clothing they no longer wear...

(In all fairness, they occasionally do wear them when they come home for a visit.)

But even I am having a hard time parting with some that have sentimental value...

Souvenirs of trips taken...

Memories of courses taken more than ten years ago!

Which should I give away? Which should I keep?!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sisters of Mary Retreat

Last weekend, I spent three days at a convent in Orleans - a community in the east side of Ottawa - attending a religious retreat led by the Evangelical Sisters of Mary.

The weather was perfect!

This is not my first retreat at this center...

But it is the first time I saw deer...

... and a wild turkey...

... meandering around the spacious grounds.

A beautiful tranquil time.