Saturday, August 31, 2019

Black Sweater - Done!

I have been working on this black sweater all summer...

It's black tweed... though it's hard to see much detail in the photo.

After reading about the ergonomics of knitting, I switched back to using metal knitting needles to knit it. The wooden ones I've been using for the past few years were putting a strain on my wrists. They create more "friction" and should only be used with slippery, silky yarns.

When I first started using wooden knitting needles, I heard that the flexibility of wood made wood easier on a knitter's wrists, but that was totally wrong!

I'm so pleased to have been able to knit this whole project without experiencing any wrist pain...

My daughter may want the black sweater. I knit an identical white one that's a bit longer. It's one of my favorite sweaters.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Interesting Airpark Cafe

Last week when Terry and I visited our daughter in Guelph, we ended up again having breakfast at the Airpark Cafe, on the outskirts of the city.

There are always families with small children present. I can see why...

Situated on the edge of a small landing strip for private planes, the cafe offers more than food.

How exciting to watch small planes land and take off - or even park - next to the cafe!

To anyone used to a large airport, this landing strip is a little surreal: On one side, a farmer's field; across the road, row of houses.

Just as we were leaving, the wind picked up...

I wonder how that affects these small planes?!

I'm sure those who live across the road from the landing strip have interesting tales to tell!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Feeling Tired!

Sometimes I don't sleep well... An overactive mind? Too much coffee during the day?!

One night recently I lie awake for hours - then didn't get up until 7:30... (For me that's sleeping in!)

The sun was up - and in a nearby sports field - I could see teenage girls having an early morning soccer practice.

Watching them run around effortlessly so early in the morning made me even more tired!

I probably had that kind of energy once! (Though the memory of it is long gone!)

But I do remember arriving at work at 7:30 am - not necessarily energetic, but ready to start my 8-hour day!

(Glad I don't have to do it now!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

"Historic" Family File

Organizing gurus (like Marie Kondo) say that one should get rid of non-essential papers...

But as I go through the files of papers my mother kept, I do find interesting "historic" documents that most people would have thrown away long ago...

Like this Employment Insurance booklet of my fathers from the 1960's...

Stamps are stuck in it... (showing the weeks he worked?)

That would be an interesting historic artifact to show a class of children now that most records like this are simply stored on a computer!

The teacher in her may have had this in mind, just as the teacher in me recognizes how interesting that would be for children to see!

A link to the past!

Though nobody in our family is presently a teacher, the document is a keeper!

I think I'll put it away in a "Family History" file!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Beautiful Sky!

I like large windows facing either east or west...

Though clouds are beautiful at any time of the day...

Wherever I am, my eyes search out the sky...

To me, sunrises...

And  sunsets are the most beautiful sights in the world!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Mementos of My Parents' Wedding

Seventy-five years ago today, my parents got married...

Going through my mother's memorabilia, I discovered that - back in 1944 when my father applied for a marriage license,  the certificate (in Alberta) cost 50 cents!

My mother kept the hand-typed receipt.

(And attached to the receipt is a clipping of their engagement announcement in the Edmonton Journal...)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Come From Away

Terry and I recently attended the musical "Come From Away."

It tells the true story of what happened in Gander, Newfoundland that fateful day we now call 9-11.

Planes slated to land in New York City and other east-coast airports were suddenly re-routed to other places, including a little-used airport in a remote place called Gander, Newfoundland... (a place many of the passengers had never heard of!)

Years ago, Gander airport had been a re-fueling station used by planes crossing the Atlantic. These days, planes carry more fuel, so it's not used as much. But the landing strip is still very large... adequate to hold several dozen planes.

The fears and emotions of the poor passengers stuck on the island for days - until air space is opened again in the USA -  is conveyed well by the music.

I'm glad I came prepared with Kleenex!... It was an emotional story... Definitely a musical well-worth seeing!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Briefly in Montreal...

Last weekend, after the TWIST  Fiber Festival, Terry and I decided to head to Montreal for a day - instead of driving straight back home.

The festival was in a town about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal.

In Montreal, there was lots of construction on downtown city streets, so our traffic app suggested we exit the highway in the neighborhood close to where Terry's Grandmother Hutchins once lived, rather than  exit downtown...

It's always nostalgic for Terry and me to visit Montreal - the city where we both lived for a number of years before meeting and getting married there.

A year after getting married, we moved to Ontario for Terry to pursue post-grad studies - and never returned to live.

But we love the city and have such good memories of our years there...

St. Catherine Street, from Peel Street east a few blocks, the road was totally torn up as they replaced major sewer pipes. (Not the best time to visit!) Even walking on the sidewalk was a challenge.

But I guess road and infastructure repairs have to be done sometime!

Things were somewhat better in our old neighborhood, around Atwater Street.

The former Children's Hospital has been torn down and condos are going to be built instead.

Terry wandered over to check it out...

Then we headed over to the old  hockey forum...

It's always nice to be back!

Even if the skyline has changed since we lived there... and is constantly changing...

It still feels like home!

(In fact, the building with the brown door and window trim is where we used to live!)

Friday, August 23, 2019

TWIST Fiber Festival

Last Friday Terry and I drove to the Quebec town of Saint-Andre-Avellin, about an hour east of Ottawa, for their annual  "fiber festival" that draws weavers, knitters and spinners from all over North America.

My mother, who taught weaving and spinning in her younger years, would have been in her element.

There were workshops in yarn dyeing (something my mother also did).

For serious yarn-people, the festival provides a chance to network.

One vendor was selling whole fleeces of sheep wool - unwashed and uncarded (or untangled) - by the pound.

There was also wool that had been washed and carded  - and either dyed or not -  ready to spin into fine yarn for weaving or thicker yarn for knitting or crocheting.

Seeing this weaving loom brought back memories of the large loom my mother kept in her back porch in her working years.

For me it was interesting to see how this "dying" art of yarn dyeing and spinning is still very much alive, enjoyed by women (and men) of all ages.

Terry was amazed by the wide variety vendors there - all in some way connected to crafts that employ wool fibers.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Enjoying Brockville!

A few weekends ago, Terry and I headed to Brockville with one of our barbecued-rib-loving sons to attend the annual Brockville rib fest.

It's a fund raiser for the local Boys and Girls Club, an organization that we like to support.

(We even bumped into a friend from Ottawa! We're obviously  not the only ones who love ribs!)

After eating, we wandered along the path beside the St. Lawrence River. It was an busy place. It reminded me of my teen years and the boat our family enjoyed on the Okanogan lake.

What kind of boat did Grandpa have? my son asks as we watch boats of various kinds go by.

A fiberglass boat with a steering wheel and a 45 hp motor, I tell him. Nothing fancy - but strong enough to pull my brother and me water-skiing. 

Boating was a favorite summertime family pastime... 

We parked our boat in the Kelowna yacht club all summer, so it was easy to go out in the boat for several hours in the evening. We'd drive over with a picnic supper, then water-ski for a while.

Seeing others boating brings back the memories...

In town, I noticed an interesting flower display in someone's yard: a picture frame propped up to highlight a particularly beautiful... bunch of flowers.

Cute! I've never seen that before.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

It's Hard to Get Rid of Old Cards...

One of my goals this summer is to go through filing cabinet drawers and shred or toss papers we no longer need... (This is no easy task: We have five filing cabinets!)

Among the papers are bundles of cards and letters my mother treasured and brought with her when she moved to Ontario at the age of 83: Lots of birthday cards, a few souvenirs from her own wedding, and a large bundle of sympathy cards she received when my father died.

Marie Kondo (the Japanese organizing guru) suggests that when getting rid of sentimental "clutter," one should take time to appreciate the friends and occasions that the cards (or gifts) represent. Then say good-bye.

As I read the cards, I am reminded that my parents enjoyed a large network of friends and family. What a treasure!

But there is also nostalgia here... In the bundles I've encountered cards from people I knew well, too. Many of them, my parents' generation, are no longer alive - like my godmother, Ruth and other close family friends.

Seeing their handwriting and comments brings back such strong emotion that I have to resist the urge to dig through the recycle bin and retrieve the cards.

Saying good-bye is never easy.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

African Violets in Bloom

I love it when my African violets bloom in winter - when there are no flowers outdoors!

But here they are - beginning to bloom in summer - competing with the beautiful outdoor flowers!

I haven't managed to figure out their blooming season...

Maybe they don't have one! Maybe they bloom - when conditions are right - any time of the year!

Monday, August 19, 2019

August Gardening

I've learned the hard way that spring is not a good time for me to weed my flower beds...

I have a hard time telling the difference between flowers and weeds! If I weed in spring, very few flowers bloom in summer...

So I let it all grow - except for the gout weed, which is clearly recognizable, and which would grow over top of everything else!

But now that August is here, most of the perennials in my flower beds have already bloomed.

Now I can trust myself to trim and deadhead those that have finished blooming - so that the few beginning to bloom are clearly visible...

Flowers like the late summer yellow lilies that were a gift from one of Terry's co-workers whose husband runs a landscaping business...

Also the pink and white phlox. (The pink, in the pictures above; the white, near the backyard hedge which - in summer - becomes overgrown with wild vines.)

I also want to see the echinacea coneflowers that were hidden behind the dead daisies until I trimmed them back.

For me, August gardening is mostly about trimming back plants that have finished blooming - so that the late summer bloomers will not get lost amid dead flowers and vines - so that I can enjoy them all!