Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Gift of Home

 I have been spending a lot of time in my back garden. And I'm not alone. Along with the big black dog, we have many ducks.
 This is a really great mama.
 She causes me to pause and get my camera and really enjoy her babies' antics.

 And then I look more closely at the poppies which will not be blooming long (especially with the imminent rain)
 My radishes are happy and some even survived the first thinning. We plan to eat them and the carrots and the beets when they are just small. Because we can.
 This wild rose bush, one of my favourites, is from my neighbour when we moved in. I complemented him on his while I was picking up the mail, and he brought a sprout over a few weeks later. That was probably 17 years ago.
 The Solomon Seal is from a great gardener and friend of my sister who died many years ago. I sang "In the Garden" at her funeral. I've divided it a few times, and I'm always quick to offer some to my friends. The ferns and blue flowers are from the woods on the other side of the bridge.
 These irises are from my sister's farm. Her husband's grandmother planted them when she came over from Ireland and homesteaded near here.
And my herbs are in the sun. I set up a new cafe table and chairs for our morning coffee. Our large deck is very sunny. So I'm excited about painting my adirondack chair and planting up my white garden to enjoy the pad that used to hold the hot tub. I hope to share my garden this year with friends coming over for tea.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Le Dernier Temps

 Even though I felt as if I had just returned home from a big trip, I went to camp for the weekend. It was Victoria Day weekend (May 24, Queen Victoria's birthday) and for over 30 years, our church has had a  youth retreat at Cultus Lake camp. This is my second- and last- year as nurse, but I was on the camp board for many years, I am a camp mom, and I have been nursing at summer camp since 1987.
It is a little slice of heaven and we have been blessed to have the lease since the 1930's.
 Emily came home. She was a cabin leader and the drummer in the jam band. So good to see her leading.
 Our theme was "Crossroads" and we had time to explore our life journey. The campers were 13-20 years old.
 We had two ministers. The girl is now a leader and I couldn't be prouder of her! One of my campers.
 There was a giant Jenga game. Must make one!!!!
 Em and I did each other's nails. I put lady bugs on hers and she gave me sparkly flowers.
 This year we had a cactus named Suze, complete with a wardrobe. She came to lunch and stayed for the dance.

 The rec hall was rebuilt in 2007 after an unfortunate fire. The draping and photographs made it more homey. We did singing and workshops and worship here. There was too much rain (on and off) to use the outdoor chapel much.
 Communion at midnight with teens. Awesome.
 This is how the camp likes to be: full of frisbees and big boys playing bubbles.
 On the last day we welcomed past campers to join us at the waterfront.
 I had time to finish my zig zagular socks! I also worked on the vest for Oxford. Will I be able to get it done for May 31st? It'll be tight.
Thank you Prairie Girl Susie for the lovely pattern to test knit. Thank you Felicia of Sweet Georgia Yarns. I love the Coastal colourway. 
I cast on a premie hat for a friend who was in my Sunday School class when she was seven. Hoping it turns out OK.
Back at home.
I have planted veggies and the radishes are up. I just filled my pots with white geraniums and supertunias and allysum. I look forward to finishing my adirondack chair and serving tea in my new shade garden. Carly will keep me safe because she scared off a coyote from our bridge the other day.
Hope that's the last time.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

London Calling

 Travelling by rail is such a treat. On the first of May, it is a holiday in France and bouquets of lily of the valley are given out. Would you like red or white wine?
 We did a whirl wind tour in a vintage open topped double decker with a bowler wearing guide named, Magnus.
 He got us into the court of St. James to listen to the band and see the soldiers as they set out to change guard at Buckingham Palace. We've been to London a few times and never witnessed this wonderful spectacle.
 D found "The Royal Mile Whiskey Shop". Like a yarn shop to him.
 Yarn bombing classes at the women's night school behind our hotel in Russel Square.
 Because the sun came out, we took the underground to Hampstead Heath. At the Village Haberdashery I bought some Merchant & Mills sewing supplies. We bumped into a local market and bought soft cheese, bread and apples. Perfect.

 Keats house.
 The next day we went the other direction to Greenwich Observatory. There was a wonderful display of steam punk. This is a sundial of dophins.

 Dickens house was just a few blocks from us and well worth the time. I read all his books while at home with the kids and am sparked to re read them.
 I chose Russel Square because I have loved the British Museum. My favourite displays were moved to the British Library in about 1998. We visited those, too, and I revelled in the environment of lauding the English word.
 Did I say I like lions?

 London is easy. We had umbrellas for the parts of the day when the rain showed up. We walked from London Bridge to Trafalgar Square to Westminster.
 Travelling over the Millennium foot bridge from Shakespeare's Globe to St. Paul's Cathedral.
 When the sun came out we were at Somerset House.
 We enjoyed pub food and Italian cuisine. On Tuesday evening we went to Drury Lane for "The War Horse". It was mesmerizing.

Such a treat. Dickens and Shakespeare. Some of my favourite things. There was wool at Liberty's and John Lewis, but nothing I couldn't get at home. Very little evidence of crafting. But I knit in the airport, on the Chunnel train and in the tube. On the way home, I finished my second ball of CashSilk on my Nuvem.
I enjoyed visiting and revisiting this city of authors.

Words Failed Me

 For our 25th Wedding Anniversary, DH and I went to Paris for a week. I had never been and this is the picture from our tiny hotel room on Boulevard St. Michel.
 We walked up the "Boul Mich" past the Pantheon and the Sorbonne all the way to the Musee D'Orsay.
 It was raining, and opening time, so we decided to go in and enjoy.
 My French is grounded in Elementary School. I have all my nouns, and can order meals and ask for directions. But I was pleased to learn I could have our metro passes replaced and even give directions to other tourists.

 A trip down the river Seine.

 We actually saw the six (six!) unicorn tapestries at the Musee Cluny.

 We stayed next to Luxembourg Gardens. Everything orderly and French.
 Visited Sajou! It was a little hard to find, but a treasure box of threads and buttons.
 I bought a precious pair of embroidery scissors.

 We had a picnic lunch at the fountain in the square at the Louvre.
 Loved the Tuillerie Gardens
 Walked the length of the Champs de Elysee and climbed the stairs at the Arc de Triomph.

 After braving the metro at Les Halles, we found la drogerie. The colours were fabulous! The patterns very simple and chic. The yarns sumptuous. But you had to ask them to wind off a certain number of meters from cones and they didn't have many nice fingering weights. I didn't buy anything.

 Notre Dame.

I am always drawn to lions! In our walking we found many beautiful spots. Every street was lovely. The people were kind. The food was marvelous. We were a bit of an island on our holiday and enjoyed the exploration. On May Day we took the Eurostar Train through the Chunnel to London!