Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

10 Things I’m Looking forward to in 2010

1. Meeting my new cousin (mid-June)
2. Final season of LOST
3. Ravelympics — though I think it might be more of a commitment than I get
4. Being debt-free
5. Completing: The List
6. Baby chicks!
7. Alice in Wonderland
8. Traveling — not sure where yet
9. Blogging and blog reading
10. Can’t Stop the Serenity fundraiser

What about you?

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Back Home

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Home from camping on Quadra Island.
I realize that I have continued to neglect this blog. I have written so many entries in my mind…that I forget I haven’t actually published them.
I wish life were a lot slower!

I took a week and slowed down intentionally. You can’t beat camping for introspection.

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I’ve been up to a few things since my last post — sadly, I had to get new chickens. RIP Chickanzees. {these are the new ones – 4 little girls and 1 boy}

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Spent some time being a tourist close to home:

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Started quilting:

1st Quilt!

Took up canning:

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Spent time with family:

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and pets:

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How did you spend your summer?

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Whoa! Where does the time go??

I will finish reviewing Lost — this season was incredible? wasn’t it? The posts are in draft form, I’ve just been outrageously busy since like April!

Here is a glimpse of just some of the things occupying my time:

Been Awhile

Left to Right – Top to Bottom

1> I fostered 3 kittens for the local SPCA. Lots of fun, but a LOT of work. Naturally, I wound up keeping one – I’m pretty sure they know that will happen! I kept the fluffy black and white one on the end. Chaplin. One of my cousins adopted the black kitten, Poe (great name hey?). Right now I am kitten-sitting Poe while she is at ComiCon — the two boys are having a blast together.
The girl at the SPCA might need me to foster more kittens – they have 25 in the shelter! Madness!

2> I have 3 chickens! I’m hoping that at least 2 of them are hens — I would like eggs. They started out as the cutest little puffballs. This is Reepicheep in my arms.

3> Spending lots of times at the beach, the lakes, the river (freezing glacier run off!!) and the pool. This summer has been a scorcher so far.

4> I completed my RCM 1st year and received First Class Honours on my Exam! Such a relief — my 1st ever piano exam. I’m really looking forward to my 2nd year this Fall. I find it a great balance between calming and challenging myself. (if that makes any sense!)

5> Been on a few roadtrips – personally and work related. We have been going on near-daily field trips and this summer’s program is turning into a great success. 🙂

6> The chickens have grown! They are hardly recognizable as the little balls they arrived as. Last weekend I built them an enclosure. Myself! With a door that opens and closes — myself! I’m amazed. Their adorable coop was made my a family friend and they love it. Their enclosure is located outside my kitchen window — they seem to get a real kick out of peering in at me when I do the dishes/cook – which is what they are doing in this pic.

7> mmmm….Clafoutis! I adapted Alicia Paulson’s Blackberry version to use some of the abundant and delicious raspberries in my landlady’s garden. I had only made a WW’s version before and it was good. This however? This is heavenly. The tart of the raspberries contrasts nicely with the crystallized raw sugar the custard is poured over.

8> I started a small garden at my new place. This is it shortly after transplanting seedlings — it’s jungly these days. Even the green peppers are growing – due to the scorching summer weather I’ve mentioned earlier. The chickens love exploring the backyard and I’ve discovered that, likely because they arrived on the same day, the kittens watch but don’t interfere when the chickens are out and about (not that I leave them alone!) I hope they are helping to keep the garden tick free. Ugh. 
In addition to the clafoutis, I’ve also been experimenting with SouleMama’s Ruby June. I tried the rhubarb syrup but found it rather tasteless – so next I made a raspberry syrup. It made a divine drink! Very nice with sparkling soda and actually alright added to ice water.

9> Seen some great movies and some not so great movies. The latter was not-so-great because it was viewed with a very sensitive child whose first words to follow the intro: “I know one thing, I’m going to have nightmares tonight.” While sparing us from potetnially gory footage there were still a lot of ominously intoned “he won’t survive for long” & “if they don’t…they will surely die” . Sheesh.

10> Lots of BBQ’s already. This is a great year for it. Loving the quick and easy recipes that lend themselves to summer weather cooking. mmmmm…the company is the best ingredient though. ;-D

11> I finished the 365 Project…not that it’s up to date yet…but the photo’s have all been taken!

12> And what is summer without reading? Getting a surprising amount of reading done depsite all the other activities AND since I have started quilting! (pics coming soon)

What have you been up to?

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My friend e-mailed me some pics from our cruise – thought I would share them while I wait for some blogging inspiration to strike.


I knew someone had to have one of these – Chef’s Night.


My cousin R – King of the Sarcastic Pose


Everyone’s favourite place to be.


Knitting in a lounge – the pathetic look on my face? No idea. Hopefully I was midsentence…My friend has a collection building up of pics like this in which I appear legless. I guess I constantly fold my legs up beneath myself – or something. 😉

My Mom and I took a lace class this weekend wherein we didn’t learn anything about lace but…I did learn that I knit ‘wrong’ and am correcting that. Here’s the thing though – the teacher used and handed out some patterns with their business logo on them. She never actually said who designed them, I assumed she had. Until I looked at them. They seemed familiar. I looked closer and recognized the font and page set up of Knitty.

I checked online when we got home and sure enough – they were all patterns from Knitty. I realize they are online to be shared but it seems wrong to reprint them without giving credit to the site or the designers…and doubly so to print them with their own business logo. This is YS I shop at fairly often (mainly out of necessity) but this has made me really uncomfortable. I feel like not going there anymore, but I have been known to  overreact…quit acting so surprised! Seriously though – what do you think? What would you do? or not do?

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After losing Trivia again.


Yep – I was knitting in the bar.


So cozy.

The big Chef’s night – which included singing, dancing and juggling waiters as well.



Not all of us could wear our hats so well.


Our last port of call: Ketchikan. The salmon were running.



Dolly’s House.


Here’s an interior shot of my favourite bookstore. This chair is conveniently located beside the crafts section – which carried nearly all of the YarnHarlot’s books.


Now don’t take this the wrong way but the following seems like something you would only find in the USA. It is the Post Office and the Taxidermist. Together. In one building.


Please note the realism of the display – the feathers in the mouths. And in case you were wondering, the ptarmigan does come with the otter. Hey, that’s a bargain!


And we thought we were the only one’s out there bastardizing this joke.

Our last day was spent sailing down the Inside Passage. We stayed out on deck quite a bit, chatting, reading, napping and knitting (ok that was just me). And yep – it was still chilly.


Chilly but beautiful.


Check out the Rainbow Topaz ring my Aunt bought – you know, if you can spot it. (not actually my Aunt’s hand)


CONTEST: I took the photo from the wrong side. Curses. This has got to be the all time funniest moment that was certainly not meant to be funny. Just follow the link and if you know whose hand that is and from what program…it might just win you a prize in honour of Socktoberfest! If there is more than one correct answer I will draw names. Leave your guess in the comments. 😀 (Unless that is you in the mock photo!)


I love this pic of my cousin but…he wouldn’t buy it. So I improvised. Shhhh!


This sub-group played a lot of cards during our trip. Here’s their last game in the lounge where the loveliest string quartet played each night.


I knit while I waited to be picked up. Err… I mean Reunited!


I had a fabulous trip but I am happy to be back. Just look at what a gorgeous day it was when we arrived home:


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The famed Whitepass Railway.


The Volendam.


Can you even believe there is finally a picture of Passin’ the Dress Code?


The pesky hem kept rolling above the elbows! Something to be said for blocking I suppose.

Here are some of the towel ‘pets’ that would greet us after dinner.




I loved the little paper eyes they used. So cute. There was a puppy and a snake too – but…no pics.

The day in Skagway was followed by Dessert Extravaganza night. When I walked into the pool area of the Lido deck a woman said to me “Welcome to Heaven”. There was more cake, chocolate, carved fruit and ice than I have ever seen. It was actually a little ridiculous – and those poor people! They had been up at some god awful hour to serve breakfast at the 6am buffet and now they were slicing cake at 11:30pm. What a job.

One of the servers gifted my friend this little tropical bird made of marzipan.


The next day we sauntered through Glacier Bay. Again I spent most of the day securely esconced on a deck chair. Come on – look at the great view I had! There was one particularly awesome calving – an entire tower of ice crashed into the water. The crack was tremendously loud.



As we sailed out of Glacier Bay there was a clear demarcation in the water


I did knit for a little while but really – it was too blasted cold! Even still – look at how quickly Bellatrix was knitting up.


A crew member walking by decided to help me out with my photoshoot.


As she was helping me, my Uncle passed by – he wasn’t sure who was crazier: Me for knitting or her for posing my sock in front of the glacier. When I saw the picture later I felt badly that I hadn’t included her – just her arm. Nice eh? She was actually the Assistant Cruise Director that had just been told at morning trivia by a (quite hard of hearing I am sure) senior that she needed to learn to E-NuN-CI-Ate or speak ‘English’. Might I add that she spoke perfectly clearly, with virtually no detectable accent (from Ontario) at a reasonable volume. Our group was shocked – but among the seniors there was a general muttering concensus that she couldn’t speak. Sheesh. On this cruise there was an appalling number of embittered and rude seniors. It was very strange.

We had fantastic weather that afternoon – cold and lightly raining, but there were some sunny breaks.


And some great fog.




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Home again.

I am going to post about my holiday in segments…or it just might be too picture heavy to digest!

 We had a fantastic time. It was the most relaxing holiday to date. I swear, nothing beats napping in your Inside Cabin – it is virtually lightless and sooo quiet.

Look who I had to sail away from though!


We spent the few days before our trip at my Cousin M’s place (she left for Tanzania 2 days before we got home 😦   ) snuggled up and watching the BBC miniseries: Planet Earth. Truly incredible – if you haven’t seen it yet you really should.

Here we are our first night at sea.

Ocean’s Lounge

Traditionally we meet for drinks about 45 min before dinner – it became my tradition to nap before dinner and thus be 15-20 min late this trip…but that’s another matter entirely. Yep – I got a dramatic haircut before I left.

Here is how I spent much of the next day…


Is this a little clearer?

 Nagini on Deck

The deck was a wraparound, so there was no end of passersby getting their excercise. I met a number of fellow knitters, crocheters, embroiderers and quilters this way. Actually, it was remarkable how many people commented on what I was doing. Most people thought it was a scarf (?? – Really? I guess the YarnHarlot is right – they are Muggles) and were asking to have it when I was done. One gentleman (whose adorable grandson down the hall from us was just learning to talk) chatted for a while and knitting reminded him of how the Great Wall of China must have been built – one small action at a time. We ran into each other a lot over the cruise and he always asked how the Great Wall was coming.

It was a lot colder than it looks that day! I was under 3 wool blankets in my coat – and I am not a person who gets cold. It was the wind. My fingers were getting a little fumbly towards the end of Nagini but I finished him before we got to Juneau! I had been hoping for some in town photo-ops but it was raining at a sideways angle that made pics impossibly risky for wool and for cameras.

Here is the majority of our group (minus 6 of us) – assmebled to lose at Trivia before heading out to shop. We still enjoyed ourselves…

Trivia time

Taking a knitting break in Juneau.


Fantastic yarn shop in downtown Juneau — I still have to take pics of my purchases…they’re coming!


The selection was really amazing for such a cozy shop. The girl working was so nice. She wound all of my skeins into balls for me while I browsed some more. Aside from all the lush yarns, they had gorgeous handmade buttons, sitchmarkers, needles and bags. I am so sorry that I didn’t buy more – I was trying to pace myself. Sigh.

I am happy to say that I bought more sock yarn – just in time for Socktoberfest! I bought outside of my usualy colour-comfort zone too. Oh such knitterly advancement!

One of the things that I really like about Juneau is the amount of art displayed about town.

City Art

Next stop: Skagway

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