Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry and Bright

We dressed up in 1890's costumes for our Christmas Pageant which celebrated the opening of our building in 1898. I made the skirt from a length of fabric, just made a tube and sewed it to a waistband. My friend, Jean, pinned it for hemming. The kids wore our angel and shepherd costumes.

The amaryllis continues to amaze us. Almost blooming on Christmas Eve when the house was full of food and friends and family. I had revived just enough from my cough and cold to bake a ham and set a table with salads and buns. There were sweets on the sideboard, but not the usual overflowing. It was good, though. We still ate lots and laughed and visited.
I knit a big hat for my Paw. He has a prairie sized head.
I put a button hole, finger spot in Emily's mittens, so she can use her phone.
My FIL got a warm hat for his daily 3 mile walks.
DH and I walked on Christmas morning and the quince tree around the corner was blooming. I really want to plant one of those heritage trees. We had one on the farm. Uncle Nipper called it a Gyprock tree.
My Jean's son is going to Europe for a year and they hosted a 1920's Murder Mystery party for going away. DH won best costume and best actor. I was lost quite a bit of it.
Emily got into the role playing, too. It was fun having them home for Christmas. We had "just us four" for Christmas morning and enjoyed the quiet. Mom and Paw came for coffee and that was fun. Then up to MIL's as usual. The in-laws were pretty well behaved and the turkey was spectacular as always.

We are in the quiet days between Christmas and New Years. I worked yesterday and D made a big pot of spaghetti sauce, so we are in comfort mode. Scott went back visit his girlfriend's family and then back to work, and Emily is going to a party tomorrow and then back to the Island.
This year has been one of many small blessings and terrific friends. Most of the goals were achieved.
I am mulling over what I want next year to look like. Already the knitting list is filling up. But I have ideas in other areas as well.
Hope you were surrounded with good friends and warm feelings this holiday season and can enter the new year with a sense of freshness.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Under the Blankets

 It has been well below freezing here. This sign from our delightful Noodle Box in Vancouver. We are not used to the cold. The weather has cheered up, but I am under the blankets with a chest cold. Cough. Cough. I am worried that I will miss another nursing shift at the end of the week. The baking isn't getting itself made. Another reason I do so much ahead of time.
 A lovely hand-decorated snow man from the son of one of my co-workers. I love to play with him when he shows up on the unit.
 I was on the Cold Sheep board of the Stash and Burn group on Ravelry. It's a place where we encourage each other to resist the yarn buying and enjoy one's own stash. Ironically, I picked up a destash. Rowan felted tweed in duck egg at half price. I love it. I'm not safe.
 One of the amazing roses at the Granville Island Market. I'm not one for fakely dyed flowers, but I couldn't get enough of this.
 From our room, looking across Burrard Inlet to the North Shore Mountains. The clouds were gathering, but we did evade the freezing drizzle. The flags were at half mast for Mandela.
A quick trip to the Island to pick up Emily. I planned to stay over at her little apartment and take her, her boyfriend, and Scott and his girlfriend for dinner. We had a nice dinner, and even got to go back to Scott's place for tea and a bit of fun with his cat.
The Friday was planned for coffee with the Bartons and our friend Elizabeth from Africa. It was a bit wirlwind, but worth the effort. Barbara gave us her original sewing machine she bought before she was married. It will probably go to Mexico with us, because it is in good condition and mechanical instead of computer driven. They are so generous. I can see her sewing in their new home in the 1960's as missionaries in Uganda.
 Sunday was the pageant! There were 8 angels, but only 2 shepherds. That's how we roll. We presented Carman's "first" pageant from the opening of the building in 1898. Such great kids!
 The baby blanket is finished. I'm not sure I would buy something so wild. But it was a joy to knit, when I needed something simple, and it was surprisingly quick.
 Can we jump up and down together for icord cast off? Cough, cough.
And the cat cave is done. Truly a lesson in architecture! I made the yarn from tshirts, crocheted according to pattern and then reinforced with corrugated plastic (a blank realtor's sign). The mousey is adding catnip goodness. I hope Charlie likes it. He is an apartment kitty. Dallas did make sure to say that he loves the bed and the felted ball I gave him.
Christmas is coming. Hope you are well and enjoying the festivities. I'm going back under the covers with my dear friend Nyquil to try to mend.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Snowy Roads

Albert Herring was my first opera, and what fun! It was fun dressing up, too. My BFF and her son took me to the city on very rainy roads.
 The youth group is going well. We rolled pinecones in peanut butter and seeds for the birds in this snowy world. I did manage to bake shortbread and get cards out, but it has been a bit whirlwind.
 Drove up to Knustford. Our pathfinder loved the Coquihalla Highway, even on the summit with slippery ice on the road. I needed to see my sister and her family. Riley, her grandson is growing funnier every day.
 Her daughter in law has a new store for her very successful wedding events company.
 Prom dresses and wedding dresses are now on display.
 You can rent just about anything.
 And the photo booth! We had a riot!
 Riley with Grandma. He could melt anyone's heart.
 We had fun dressing up and dressing him up.
 120 hats to the Salvation Army for their Christmas dinner. I need to deliver the other 80 hats in my basement! She's wearing one of the three Santa hats I whipped up.
 D and I snuck out to Vancouver. Walked to Granville Island to have dinner with friends for our annual celebration.
 He likes his new "Breaking Bad" hat.
 We took the little sea bus across. Such a lovely clear night. But then it snowed. On the 30th floor, we could see the sidewalks turning white and the pedestrians slipping.
 St. Paul's Hospital, all lit up.
 Got to see my nephew and his wonderful little boy. So much energy and fun!
 These are the mittens I knit for him.
 And this is the cat cave. Not finished yet. What a huge project! And so silly. From making t-arn from tshirts, to crocheting the thing, and now reinforcing with corrugated plastic. Hope Scott's kitty likes it.
 Snuck in a hat for myself but only got to wear it once, running in the wind around our field.
What cat cave would be complete without a catnip mouse?
We got home last night. I put up the tree, went to anniversary dinner with the in-laws, and met with the sound guys for the Pageant on Sunday. Now I'm heading out to UVic to see the kids and bring back my baby girl. Hopefully I'll be done travel for a while.
Hope you can find the gentle stillness and hope of the season!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

In Keeping With the Season

 I am almost done my long list of Christmas knitting. In addition to the hats I made for my dad and BIL, I made 5 for our Chilliwack Common Threads Knitting Circle hat drive. We already have enough for the Salvation Army Christmas dinner. The baby clothes will go to a local baby support group, Meadow Rose, the scarves and mitts went to the Realtors blanket round up. I still have quite a few hats and they come in every week, but we have another shelter to serve.
This hat is alpaca and for my FIL. He walks 3 miles every day near the canal and I wish for him to have warm ears.
 For my BFF I made Bronte Mitts. I was going to add Kid Silk Haze (from her smoke ring) to the Ultra Alpaca Light, but they were warm enough. I hope they look like a set.
 The snow is starting to decorate our Mt. Cheam. Every time you look at her, she is more regal. It's fun to go on facebook and everyone has posted their own Mt. Cheam photo.
 I stopped the car to take this picture. It's very close to the view from my grandmother's kitchen door window. It feels like home. If I could look at the sun going down between the mountains every day, it would help me with calming.
 We had friends over for dinner. We don't do it very often, but our friends are lots of fun and we always have a good time. Our next hosting will be our big Xmas Eve open house, but I hope to have impromptu knitting drop ins. The carpets were cleaned yesterday, so I can start with the decorating.
 Mittens number 9 are finished. I enjoyed this pattern from petite purls magazine, but I had to change to my lightest yarn to make them toddler size. I'm already wrapping them. Half a pair left and gifting knitting is done. I am part way through the log cabin blanket, but the strips are getting so much longer, I'm not sure of how long it will take.
I gifted a pair of Xmas mittens as a birthday present, so I made another quick pair for my niece out of the Cascade 220 superwash I bought in Canmore. This is a great yarn. With the leftovers, I made myself a hat from the Be Kind pattern. 
 What a treat. I wore it yesterday during my 4 km walk/ run. I am working up to 5km (3 times around the field), but slowly. I have a nagging knee, but I am so pleased with my aerobic capacity improvement. The big black dog can only go around once, so I'm walking her a bit, taking her home, and then doing my 40 minutes.
 A Santa hat that I didn't knit last year. I made a few the year before and people begged for them. I hope to wear this one to work, and I know a sweet patient who might want to have it. She would look adorable in a Santa hat.
 My insanity was not complete until I crocheted a cat cave. My son and his girlfriend have a great little orange tabby and this project lured me in. First you make the t-shirt yarn, or Tarn. Then you crochet the pattern: top, sides, bottom. Next I will get some corrugated cardboard to build up the walls. Quite the engineering. But the pattern was very clear. Now to make a catnip mouse to live in it.
Next up I'm doing quite a bit of short travel. I want to go to the ranch, then we look forward to the annual trip to the city for shopping with old friends from our UBC days.

Soon I can start decorating and wrapping and baking, if it's in keeping with the season.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I have been having trouble getting everything done, lately. I'm behind on blogging and correspondence in general.
 Last weekend was Remembrance Day. Years ago, when I was serving in the Canadian Medical Corps Reserves, I attended the downtown Vancouver parade with ambulances back up. Later I played drums in the Canadian Legion Branch 4 Pipe Band at the Chilliwack Cenotaph. When my kids were smaller and I was teaching drumming, we paraded at the Vedder Crossing Cenotaph, which has a lovely service. This year I went to watch D's band parade at the Agassiz Cenotaph. Agassiz is a tiny town on the north side of the Fraser River and corn capital of Canada.
My poppy is from Laura Chau's Poppy pattern.
 D is pipe major and working hard to get the various small bands to work and play together.
 From the other side of the Fraser River, it's hard to recognize our Mt. Cheam of the Cascades range.
 A lovely antique Union Jack. The stitching was amazing.
 Each town has a Legion where the veterans can meet and play darts and drink. Each has a colour party of flags.
 Here's the pipe band. They just finished Scotland the Brave and are marching without playing. It was only about 5 blocks altogether.
 D calls the tune,
 He turns around.
 They fill up their bags,
 and play as they go by.
 Here is Nancy, a knitter and librarian. Her daughter has the short dark hair in the pictures above and they are my new best friends on Ravelry.
 Can't have a parade without handsome Mounties. They are certainly getting younger!

Carly and I have been enjoying warm fall weather without too much rain. The new path behind our house if perfect for walk/jog program. We went around twice today.
We have reached the 120 hat requirement for the Salvation Army Christmas Dinner. I worked twice this week, so someone else from the group (thanks Janet) picked up 3 bags of hats from the wool shop. Some of them will help the Lions Club provide hats for a local school. There is always Community Services and the Transition House. It worked out last year.
Now I can stop knitting Dude hats and focus on the last two pairs of mittens. Then maybe my UFO- the fair isle sweater. Loving the long rows of garter stitch on the log cabin baby blanket. I have been drawn to the relaxing simple knitting, lately.