Friday, January 20, 2017

New Focus


It's a new year and I finally feel like I'm starting it. The raucous re-blooming of my Christmas cactus lightens my heart and these short, dark days. With encouragement from a friend on Instagram who is a brilliant photographer, Owl and Lily Photography, I have picked up my sweet Nikon camera and am thumbing my nose to the iphone and apple updates that stymie me. Try another way.
And that is trickling down from all my new plans.

Don't give up on a bulb that is not ready. This pink amaryllis just needed more time and nurturing. Kind of like me.
I am retired from Sunday School teaching and the countless meetings that were taking all my energy. I am disappointed that the community did not grow and share the vision. But I am not so old that I can't learn a new trick. With taking a break from church in January, I am nurturing myself and discovering new (and old) outlets for my dreams and schemes.
Dude, I joined a writers' group!!! And it's in the library!! The last time I was invited to one, I was just starting the Chilliwack Common Threads Knitting Circle and I felt it needed more work to become a welcoming time for sharing friendship through craft and for giving back to our community. The group continues. I am happy now that I stepped down and they found a new venue, but it was a bit tough at the time with others wrestling for control. My better self let them take it. But I still have so many friends and contacts from that time.
And now it is time for something I really want to do. I have been writing stories since I was 4 years old and it is a big part of my self image. Except I haven't been taking time for it. With this gentle and generous group, I will have some external incentive and can talk about the beauty and importance of words with like minded individuals.

I will be taking this blog in a new (old) direction as well. I have been hoping to make it more than a travelogue of my week. I plan to muse over ideas here, to connect better with my on line community, and to share some relevant words.
There will still be knitting and other crafting, but those are still a means to connect with myself and others and to create. 
All creation matters.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Reclaiming Knits and New Year

Technical wizard I am not.
Apparently I have to empty a mass of photos for my laptop to take in any more. Hmmm.
But we had a lovely knitting Christmas. I will try to put in at least one picture!
My favourite knit of the year for my darling daughter. Her 24th birthday is tomorrow and she's on her last term for her Bachelor's of Music Education from UVic.
 I spent the last month coughing and blowing my nose, panicking about meeting my Christmas music requirements, choir and flute. Normally I quarantine myself, but everyone was sharing this bug. I dragged my sorry butt into the kitchen to do the minimum of baking. Thank goodness we have such good friends and family who didn't add pressure.
Finally on the breathing clear end of the season, I'm back to yoga and D and I are taking off for the Okanagan. Totally off season, but we are looking for quiet and restful at the NK'Mip Resort in Osoyoos.
I do plan to put writing a higher priority this year.
I have retired as a Sunday School teacher and am going to explore volunteering in my community for children and literacy. Some of my friends are excited to welcome me.
Already excited about baby knitting and planning some big sweaters for Christmas. I have been exploring fixing knits, changing shapes, extending rib and shortening sleeves. Slow but fun.
It may sound the same to you but it looks fresh to me.
Hoping your had a wonderful Christmas season and have lots to look forward to in the new year!

Friday, November 04, 2016

Conquering Technical Difficulties

 While I have been unable to access the pictures on my phone, related to different download issues, I have been making and playing. As well as a "to knit" list, I have a queue of other crafts. I finally sat down to the sewing machine and made the lavender sachets I had embroidered. I still have lots of lavender left, not including this year's harvest. I'll have to plan for some more.
 A spontaneous crochet, I wanted to use some of my cotton stash and make dishcloths for my sister. Well, I had to learn how to do Tunisian crochet all over again! Just sat with the hook and the yarn and stared at it. Thank goodness I had a good teacher, Sarah Bee and found some on line resources at Purl Soho.
 Christmas crafting continues. I love this Wurm hat. It is for a nephew who actually wears hats I make him and used almost exactly one skein of wool blend yarn. The pattern is so easy to memorize, I 'm sure I'll make more.
 D bought some cranberries from a local farm. It ended up being about 15 litres! They were dry picked and so lovely. I washed them and bagged them up for the freezer. Seriously sharing these! He says you can put them in drinks. But he drinks scotch and beer? Should I try?
 A pair of waffle mitts from a very small skein of yarn I won in the baby pool. They are actually large enough for a man and very soft. Almost done the Christmas knitting.....
 We paraded in the Rosedale Days parade, just east of Chilliwack, and there were so many tractors and so many families with kids, including my niece and great nephew.
 Almost the last knit. It is appropriate to give mitts to ones manicurist, no? These were knit in only one day a piece! I also knit a cowl for my hair dresser, but it still didn't want to load.
 My friend, Sarah Bee, knit a Sasquatch mask and invited me over for a photo shoot.
 We went to the far side of Cultus lake and had so much fun playing on the trail and taking shots.
 Then we went to an awesome gluten free bakery and bistro in Abbotsford, about 30 minutes west on the #1 Highway. She loved choosing from the entire menu.
 There were little yarn ghosties too!! We knew we were among friends.
 On the way back we stopped in Yarrow at a pumpkin farm. Like little kids!
We had 9 trick or treaters. That's a 19 year record! Our driveway is long and dark.
 To celebrate Hallowe'en I knit some teeny zombies.
 But now it's November, so move over spookies and make room for gnomes.

 I always plant an amaryllis (and one to share) on November 1st, All Saints Day, and try to remember friends who have passed in the last year.
The morning fog is starting, but it is still nice in the afternoon. I have to do some garden tidying.
 We started practicing for Christmas music at church and in the community.
And I finally wore the hat Emily gave me for Mothers' Day. She is making them to order and selling them to her friends. I embroidered a ribbon. It makes me so happy to be surrounded by the kindnesses of my children. I have been putting up the little drawings from their early days and the setting out the pottery and gifts they made at school.
It has also been a difficult few weeks because I do a lot of volunteering and really put my heart out there. But I feel that I am underappreciated and given more and more work in isolation. After a few sleepless nights and lots of journalling, I decided to step back and then take a break in January.
My focus this year has been on wellness and I have done so well with yoga and strengthening. I don't want to risk that with becoming crazy busy and increasingly stressed.
That's one reason why the Christmas knitting is done early. I like to spend the holiday season visiting with friends and baking cookies. As old as I am, it's time to lean into my own strengths and not try to make everyone else happy. Conquering real difficulties.
Rather, spend time with people who like to be happy too. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Considering Old Things

I love the gentle thoughtfulness of the heroine in these books. It is a good example of how to handle the technological glitches that I stumble over. Hint. Try the same thing again. No logic, but it works.

These shears celebrate the 100th anniversary of Singer in 1951. They were brought to our Prayer Shawl Circle by one of the knitters. What a treasure.

My Peace rose is about 15 years old, but this is the year it decided to major in blooming.

I am back to swimming once a week and am so grateful that I have the space and time to swim laps and zen out.

Our old apple tree has given us the most wonderful apples this year. They often fall before they are ripe, or are stolen by the squirrels.

The last of my Christmas knitting is sorted. There may be surprises and disappointments, followed by new plans, but I feel the pressure off. I like to spend the season enjoying the company of others, singing and eating cookies. For less stress, there will be fewer knitted gifts this year. But I am happy with what I am scheming.

These old boots were found in the thrift store. I have spent too much time this year looking for boots that fit. They are all too expensive and don't fit my high arches and long feet. These boots fit as if they were made for me! I love the heavy soles and the leather that knows how to take polish. 
Just right for this old thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Big Apple

We were invited to New York to visit friends we used to go to school with. What a great opportunity to catch up and go for an adventure. He is our daughter's Godfather, so we really think he's great. His new partner is lovely and, even though they are high powered CEOs in international companies, he grew up a neighbour and appreciates that we are more than just country mice.
We stayed right in Washington Square. Greenwich Village is charming, right in the midst of NYU, lots of restaurants and live music.

At night there was even music under the Washington Arch.
One of my favourite stops was the New York Public Library. I was there a few years ago (the Rose Reading Room is still closed), but I was drawn to it.

In the children's area they have the lovely lion in Lego!

And the actual Winnie the Pooh and friends. This is so exciting because these were some of the first books I read, even before I went to school. My big sisters loved Pooh, too, so I had lots of chances to read and listen to the stories and poems.

We walked everywhere! There was subway travel too, but lots of walking in over 38 degree and humid weather. The Flatiron building is so cool. We were home and safe before the bomb went off.


Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with many others. It was pretty exciting.

The view of Manhattan is stunning.

It was September 11, so we went to the memorial at Ground Zero. The official programs were over, but there were still lots of people.

The new tower is stunning. We rode to the top of it later and saw all around.



We enjoyed stopping at Central Park. One day we went to the west side and the Museum of Natural History.

Just as advertised in my son's favourite cartoon.

The Statten Island Ferry was very cool. Just 25 minutes one way. We got right on and took pictures.

Then we got back on a return ferry.

On the east side of Central Park is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. D Liked the mummies.

I liked one of the first things I saw, a Roman lion.

We had dinner out and especially enjoyed this Italian restaurant by Mario Batali. We were  treated like locals and encouraged to relax.

Some of our souvenirs. We didn't do much shopping. It was great to see live jazz and explore such a dynamic city. There was very little knitting. We look forward to returning in a few years to visit our friends again.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Persnickety


Our bags are packed again. We're off to New York for a week to visit a friend.
But everyone is prickly.
I can't upload my pictures. I will google the solution or continue pulling my hair out.
I missed a pedicure appointment because I was cleaning the house like a white tornado.
But she very kindly fit me in yesterday before my mammogram. Better than a candy treat.
The kids came home for Labour Day weekend and we had so much fun. BBQs and shopping and sharing stories. They returned to the Island.
I have achieved a lot of simple Christmas knitting, but I am struggling with my list. There will be fewer knit gifts this year, but I like to make something for each of the kids, and sometimes it's a better budget choice to use yarn I already have. But finding superwash or easy care yarn is harder in my sweet stash. So I'm moving items to different names and uncertain about extras. Such a trouble.
I think getting away for a break with the hardworking D will be a good idea.
I am taking socks and a hat to knit. But it's a red eye so I don't want to trade knitting for sleep.
All I want to do is swatch my sweater. But it can wait till I get home. But it cannot wait until after Christmas.
I started reading a book, but set it in the suitcase for the trip.
Do you ever feel at loose ends like this?
Time saving devices sucking up all your mojo?
Seasons changing, focus changing.
Loving the yoga and strengthening. Loving the chilly mornings.
A bit excited about the Big Apple.