Have we been here nearly a month already? Hard to believe!
This morning I’m sitting up in bed at my in-law’s house in Carcross where we spent the night after celebrating Mr. C’s birthday. Happy Birthday, my beloved!
We’ll get back to the cabin sometime this afternoon, not too late. So far, my trips to town have been few and far between. And thats okay. Town trips are mainly to run errands and grab a few minutes of internet. I mean it about the few minutes, too…only one hour per day is allowed at the library. And so, I haven’t opened Facebook in a couple of weeks, nor answered very many email notes. My online life totally neglected at the moment, but honestly, not really missed.
I’ve been writing (almost) every day for a couple of hours. I’m thick in the middle of novel rewrites. I’ve also been doing a lot of critiquing & beta reading for the writing groups I belong to. I feel as though the learning curve has steepened again, and it’s really wonderful. Writing is something of an emotional roller coaster … One thing I can say, now, is that I’m finally starting to feel like a writer. If that makes any sense. Maybe someday I’ll also be an author, lol!
I’ve also been out on the deck nearly every day doing an hour of yoga in the sunshine. And managing to keep up with the Splendid Sampler quilt blocks, for the most part, too. Now that’s a miracle, to be sure!
Dont be shy…drop on by. There’s beer in the fridge and the kettle’s always on! Thanks to Bill and Heather for the visit the other day and these wonderful photos.
I’m sitting out on the deck this morning with my coffee, where it’s warm in the sun but still cool in the shade.
Sam is sitting out on the dock looking serene and peaceful, sniffing the breeze, watching the fish jump and keeping an eye on the boat launch in the campground next door.
This is what he wants me to think, anyway. What he’s really doing is lying in wait for unsuspecting canoeists and kayakers to glide by.
When he sees them coming, he’ll lay down on his belly like a cat in the grass, and when he judges the time just right, up he’ll leap in a frenzy of barking. “Oh, look, a puppy,” the paddlers always say, unfazed. But Sam is never disappointed.
As they continue on their way, he sits back down, content, his mission successfully completed.
The Collins’ are back in the Land of the Midnight Sun!
Last year we followed the unfurling leaves north, but this year we left a couple of weeks later, and so it was the lilacs we followed. Back home in Salmon Arm the lilacs were long finished, but by the time we got to Smithers, two easy days of driving, they were in full glory and I got to enjoy them again. Now, here in Whitehorse, the buds are all closed up tight and won’t open for another couple of weeks. I look forward to enjoying their sweet-spicy aroma for a third time at the end of June.
We didn’t miss the arrival of the Yukon spring entirely, though…we got here just in time to see the last of the leaves unfurl on the shores of Fox Lake.
You must have guessed that I did some quilting during my recent 2 months visit in the Yukon, right?
Well, of course I did…and I took some pictures, too. Enjoy!
I know what food will taste like when I get to heaven…it will taste like Dee’s trifle. So when the Moda Trifle Dish sew-along happened, I knew who I was going to make this for.
Each row was designed by a different Moda Bakeshop guest blogger. I found that to be a bit of a challenge…
…because I had trouble getting them to all go together smoothly. I ended up adding or subtracting spacers between blocks, jigging things to get them to fit. But in the end, they did fit and I was pleased with the result.
Trifle is a sweet, old-fashioned dessert, so I decided to use sweet, old-fashioned 1930’s reproduction print fabrics, along with a variety of whites and a little bit of grey for the background. Everything came from my stash.
And speaking of sweet, old-fashioned, this truck belonged to Dee’s grandfather-in-law. Yes, this truck – the one right here in the picture! I think she’ll be surprised when she sees this photo, don’t you?
I added a row of decorator trim to the top edge to simulate whipped cream. Because, you know…trifle.
The backing is adorable! Look, it’s all baking items in lime green and bright pink! Dee is going to looooove it!!!
Trifle Dish was hand quilted with a #10 John James needle and 40-weight ecru-coloured hand-quilting thread in a shell pattern. I did actually start to do it by machine, but then picked it all out and did it by hand instead. Crazy. I know.
I wanted the photos of this quilt to be meaningful to Dee, so some of the pictures were taken in Carcross, Yukon, where Dee’s in-laws hail from (Hi George! Hi Millie! Hi Donna & Heather!)
And guess what…so do mine! (Hi Cal & Norma!). Now you know it’s a small world when your good friend’s in-laws and your in-laws all come from the same place that has a population of under 300.
Carcross is the sweetest little teeny tiny town about an hour from Whitehorse, on the shore of the spectacular Bennett Lake. Keep going further down the South Klondike Highway and you’ll find yourself in Skagway, Alaska in about an hour.
I had some help, of course.
Other pictures were taken at the Robinson Roadhouse…a historic site on the South Klondike Highway, half-way between Whitehorse and Carcross. A convenient place to stop and use the outhouse (because I take pride in knowing where all the outhouses are… Hello! Yukoner!)
Pictures were also taken at our cabin on Fox Lake, because that is where Dee’s and my friendship takes place.
I mean, we’re friends wherever we are, of course. But here at Fox Lake is where the magic happens for us. Back in the day when we were full-time Yukoners, she and George used to come out on a Saturday afternoon. Dee would always bring her knitting or her sewing along, and would sit on the deck and have a good old-fashioned stitch & bitch while our guys fished off the dock or did whatever guys do together when they’re at the lake.
All those good times were stitched into this quilt along with every delicious yummy bite of Dee’s trifle I ever ate.
We’re home! What was the first thing we did when we got home yesterday? We turned on the hot water tank so that we could have a luxurious soak.
Actually, it’s stinking hot here, so what we really wanted was a luxurious cold soak just to cool down! But you do still need a little hot water mixed in. Otherwise you might as well shower in ice water, and unless you’re a polar bear, that’s too cold!
So…how did we shower at the cabin? I can hear you wondering!
Well, Mr. C walks with the big canning kettle down to the lake and scoops it full of water and carries it back up to the house. We light the propane stove and put the water on to heat. In the winter, we heat the water on the wood stove. But in the summer, it’s too warm to have the wood stove going. Since we use a solar shower bag, we could fill it and leave the black rubbery plastic bag out in the sun to warm (its intended purpose, after all), but we prefer to shower in the morning, before the sun will have worked its magic on the water. When our shower water is just the perfect temperature, we pour it into the shower bag and hang it up in our home-made shower stall. The shower stall is located in the small room off the main cabin, the “little addition room” we call it, not just because it is an addition built onto the main cabin, but because it contains all of our “additionals.” A spare bed which will sleep one guest – Michael’s childhood bed, as a matter of fact; the wood bin which we keep full all year ‘round; a chest for storing towels and spare bedding, with one drawer dedicated to “junk”; an antique sideboard that belonged to Mr. C’s mother, good for storage but that also has a good flat work surface; the cat’s litter box, shelves where I keep various odds & sods: my crafts, my collection of hats, spare boxes of Kleenex, Mr. C’s binoculars. In one corner of this tiny room is the home made shower stall. When the shower bag is hung, you must stand in a sort of deep-kneed squat in order to get your head under the nozzle. It’s actually quite a clever way of getting in one’s daily calisthenics…active showering!
Showering at the cabin can also be a bit of a shivery affair. You don’t get that buildup of warm steam that insulates you in your little bathtub world at home. Here, when your shower is finished, the cool air comes pouring in and you have to jump quickly and dry off (especially in the winter!)
Our showers are like the ones you take on a boat or in an RV, if you’ve ever done that. You open the nozzle and get yourself wet all over, then stand in a puddle of rapidly cooling water while soaping up and shampooing your hair. Then you open the nozzle again to rinse off. The solar bag holds enough water for two showers if I don’t need to wash my hair. Mr. C always goes first because he likes the water hotter than I do. I get a bit of a longer shower because Mr. C usually underestimates how much water is left in the bag and leaves me more than half. Or maybe he’s just being courteous. He’s like that, you know.
For some reason that I can’t put into words, it is an exquisite pleasure to shower this way. And it’s also an exquisite pleasure to live this way for a bit of time each year. Without phone, electricity, running water, internet. It reminds me of how little one really needs to be happy.
…And of how nice a hot shower is. Especially when you’ve scooped it, carried it, heated it and poured it yourself.