Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rocky Mountain High

 You just have to look down the streets in Banff to see the most stunning mountain formations. On the first day I took a bus to Canmore (good service but not running when I need it) to Knit and Caboodles shop and had a great time with the owner and dyer, Catherine (Katherine?). I bought some wool!! Next post will revel the stashing and the knitting.
 On the second day I went wandering. You can't call it hiking because it was not far off the streets, but it was climbing on the trails. I went to the Banff Centre for the Arts. Amazing!
 This is the out door amphitheatre. There were just a few music or dance students moving about. Not a good mix with the hockey performance school. We have had friends spend time here with the National Youth Orchestra. Le sigh.
 The centre for creativity and innovation is achieving its goals with such crazy benches.
 Then I went down the Bow River trail to the Bow Falls.
 I got a bit lost trying to reach the Banff Springs Hotel. I was on the right trail, but it was marked only for the falls. I took another path through a bit of a field and saw some big, fresh, bear scat! I started singing out loud (and I can sing loudly) but that last street was called "Muscrat Street", so out of my mouth comes "Muscrat Love". Do you remember Captain and Tonille? So embarrassing! I think the bears blushed.
 I got up to the hotel, so old and beautiful and full of iconic statues, brick work and vistas.
 They did a marvellous job of the flower beds, considering it was late August and an alpine altitude.
 Then D and I went walking to the Cave and Basin. I always wanted to go into the Indian Trading Store, but I couldn't get over the inappropriateness. We poked around.
 This is the Bow River, all calm at the end of our street.
 The Cave and Basin is the original sight of the Banff hot springs, discovered as the railroad was going through. It was such a valuable asset that the idea of a National Park was created to preserve and share it. In the 1980's we used to come and swim here, especially when it was snowing. No one is allowed in now and they have paved over the 1920's swimming pool.
 The interpretive walk is interesting and it was a great relief to get away from the hoards of aimlessly wandering tourists who crowded the sidewalks and wouldn't let us pass. We were here last year and I exhausted the souvenir shops at that time.
 I love the old fort look of this National Heritage site. There weren't many people even though it was only a half hour walk from the town.
And back in the town, we marvelled at the beauty of the Rockies. Such a beautiful place to visit and escape from the craziness that is the end of the summer at our house. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Cup Is Overflowing

 Yesterday I had my first big girl party. Now that I'm 50, I wanted to celebrate the women in my life who have made such a difference to me. Part of my brain says I want to make it an annual thing, but the rest of my brain is napping because it was quite a bit of prep and clean up. Thanks to D for taking photos and washing all the dishes, and to Emily for being one of the girls.
 It was billed as a garden party, starting at 4. I didn't know what it would end up being. Usually we host family, or book club or meetings. This was just for fun. There was lemonade and libations.
 Friends from knitting, book club, church, work. I wanted them to meet each other.
 My best friend from high school was visiting her parents from Ecuador, so she was a most welcome guest. They all spoiled our Carly-dog. She just turned 10. It has been 10 years since the Kelowna wild fires!
 Like flowers in my garden, these women are all beautiful! They came and went and offered to bring food. Of course J did the heavy cooking and helping. She is the sister I would choose. Friends are the family you make for yourself.
When I was wee, one of my favourite hymns was "my cups overflowing with love". It is true today.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Deep Summer

 The weather has continued to be warm and dry. There have been a few thunder storms, but I am pretty well limited to dressing in summer dresses. This is not usual in the Fraser Valley where we have cardigans to match our capris.
Saturday was jam packed (the whole weekend was!) with a wedding shower for my nephew's fiance at Cultus Lake. They did a wonderful job of decorating and welcoming us.
 Edible shoes. That says it all!
 Here is Emily with another nephew's wife and the bride-to-be. We have had 3 of nine weddings so far. It is exciting to see the big boys find their lovely brides and start their adult lives.
 It was also the Fair. We have a Chilliwack Common Threads table with flyers to join us on Tuesdays and the kick off for our Christmas knitting charity. This year they decided we want to knit hats for the Salvation Army Christmas Dinner. We hope to collect 120 hats for the homeless.
We also had our Fair Share class of baby layettes that go to the hospital.
 Our knitted vegetables were a hit! The knitters were friendly and I can't thank them enough for volunteering and making our table a great place to knit with signs that said "Please touch the knitting". My mom is the convener of the home arts building with the quilts and jams and baking, so I try to support her. And my daughter tries to support us both.

 My scarecrow got an honourable mention. It was fun to make and was a good display for our table.

 There were real vegetables too.
 And award winning pies!
The barn was so noisy and crowded that it got a bit harried at times. When we packed up, D took me out to dinner with friends and then I worked yesterday. I feel like I have been away on a long trip. But these are the events that make us feel like we're living our summer.
 We had a blessed rain on Sunday morning. It didn't last long, but it was so refreshing. I am working this week and appreciate the cooler temperatures at Hospice where we don't have air conditioning.

 Last weekend we went to the ranch near Kamloops. The active sky and thunderstorms were the best light show.
 Julie took me for a splendid ride. It was the first time I rode her young gelding, Vinnie, and he was a perfect gentleman. I think he's already sold to some lucky cowgirl.
 She has the most delightful grandson, my great nephew, who is usually seen laughing and cooing.
And, as expected, I am on the cutting edge of knitting. While working on the front of my linen Miminalist cardigan, I admired the lovely 2x1 ribbing. Hey, wait. I don't remember that on the back. Nope. The first sleeve had it, and then I was too cocky to read the pattern because I thought it too simple. Whoops.
I cut it and knit it down. Right away. I didn't want to spend any more time whinging about how I'd made such a simple mistake. Now I have to decide if I will cut the sleeve, or just frog it and reknit it.
I knit on a fair isle sweater for los ninos in Mexico during the fair. Just finished the grey Tunisian crochet shawl that I started in February (!!!) Can you see me avoiding the sweater. I just cast on a wonderful Hill Country hat by Clara Parkes with some unmarked bulky yarn. I think it's really Sweet Georgia super wash bulky. It's for the vet and friend who mounted the Fair Share trophy on a beautiful block of wood so we can put the winners' names on it.
The evenings are getting shorter and the geese are flying overhead in large flocks. Sometimes if feels as if autumn is not just a dream.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Finally Rain

 My Friday morning is humming along with fresh fruit, merino tencel knit a long (Makai by Single Handed Knits) and rain! I have been watching Dr. Who (from the library) with Emily and knitting in the chilly comfort of the basement. But I love the rain.
 Last weekend we got to meet Scotty's new kitten, Charlie. He is a delight!
 The corn was up to my shoulders. Which means it's my birthday! 50 years old. I think this will be my last party. I have had more than one party most years of my life (one in Victoria where my sister and I spent the summers) and another when we got home. My two older sisters didn't come. It was disappointing, but only because of my own expectations. D's family didn't mix with the others and there were some hard feelings. Obviously they never went to camp. For my 60th, I'm taking my kids to Disneyland!
 I picked flowers from my garden and set up tables and chairs on the deck.
 Some of my favourite people came and ate and had a good time.
Emily made 50 lemon-filled lemon cupcakes with strawberry icing .
They were topped with angels made from Starburst candies. There was lots of candy.
D gave me a flash for my camera and this exquisite wool from The Roving Lampman. Enough lace weight to make a sweater.
D's Aunt Shirley, the one who shared her beach house all those years and whom we visit in Tuscon is also a knitter. She gave me the loveliest cashmere and silk. What do you think, a cowl?
From Julie, the best gradient. I really wanted a gradient. I can hardly stand to cake it up, it's so pretty as it is. I have been wanting to knit a hitch hiker.
And from Mom, some Merrakesh in the best blue. I want to knit a Lakeshore Shawl by Glenna C.And Mom grew up on the shores of Lake Superior.
 I have been on a cold sheep yarn diet since May, waiting for my birthday. But I don't need to buy any yarn. This is all stuff I would choose!
Yesterday I rode my bike to the new library in Sardis. It is a huge treat for me. They have great knitting books and Dr. Who videos. I also signed up for ebooks and audio books on my ipad. Crazy! When am I going to get any work done? Too tempting to sit and knit and watch the rain.