It was so pretty this afternoon, I just had to take Sam out for a walk. Actually, it was Sam who took me.
I was happily basting a quilt, head down, paying no attention at all to leaves blowing over the lawn, sunshine streaming through the windows and bouncing rainbows around the room.
But Sam grumbled and barked and grumbled and barked until I finally gave in.
We walked through the forest, down a country road, past a horse in the field and a wild apple tree whose branches were busting under the weight of hundreds of little red apples. The sides of the road were covered in blue wildflowers – the kind that will turn to stickers as soon as their blossoms drop. I’ll hate them later, but right now they’re stunning.
I wanted to take a picture of Sam sitting with the flowers. It seemed like the perfect photo opportunity. There I was, squatting on the side of the road, juggling the leash and the camera phone and trying to cajole Sam into smiling (or at least looking interested)…
Yeah, right.After I gave up, we walked back along the beach, where the water level has dropped but the sand hasn’t dried out enough to walk out very far without getting muddy.
I’ve been thinking lately about how we identify with place. Last year at a gathering in Whitehorse, I was introduced as being from Salmon Arm, BC. Which, I suppose, is true, since that’s where I’m living right now. I had, after all, flown in for the event.
But at time, we had only been gone from Whitehorse for one year and I still very much identified myself as a Yukoner. So when the introduction came over the sound system, I had a very visceral reaction. A little twinge of adrenaline shot into my heart and I actually caught my breath. It felt so wrong! I felt, suddenly, like an outsider, a stranger in a place that was was so dear to my heart that I could still taste the air just by thinking about it.
I still can.
I’ve been living here in the Salmon Arm area for just over two years, now. And while I definitely feel more at home now than I did at first, I still don’t know my way around very well.
Forget directions that involve the name of whatever business was previously located next to the one I’m searching for. “It’s next to where the old yoga studio was before it moved up town.”
“And where is up town, exactly?”
“At the top of the hill, by McDonalds.”
Or how about this one: “It’s on 18th.”
(Avenue or street? West or Nortwest? I believe there are four streets that begin with the number 18 in Salmon Arm. there might be more, I’m not sure.)
When we spent a year in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, I met an elderly woman who took me under her wing a little bit. She lived in a nice little house in a nice little neighbourhood of “newer” homes in town. “Newer” meaning built in the 1950s.
“Would you like to see where I’m from?” she asked me one day.
“Is it far?” I imagined a day trip to some other small Manitoba town, maybe an hour or so away.
We got into her car and drove about six blocks to the other side of town, and parked in front of a beautiful old heritage home.
“My nephew lives here, now,” she said, pointing out the dormer window that had been her childhood bedroom.
We walked up the street and down the alley behind the house, admiring the gardens full of tomato plants, rhubarb, and peonies while she reminisced about her childhood.”I never in a million years would have believed I’d move so far away from home,” she said, sadly.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can live quite happily in one place and yet still yearn for another. I don’t know if I’d move back to Whitehorse. I like it here. And yet, I identify myself as a Yukoner living away.
And every time we visit the coast and I get a whiff of that salt air, I yearn to live by the ocean again.
If home is really where the heart is, then I guess one can be at home in several places at once. And that’s a good thing, eh? Because the moral of the story is that home resides within us. We carry our homes inside us like turtles carries their on the outside.
Home Yoga Practice
There are many ways to set up a home practice. If you’re interested in having one like mine, all you need is a space big enough to roll out your mat, a few uninterrupted minutes and a place to set your laptop (or a TV with a DVD player).
I currently practice with the Dianne Bondy on-line videos and with my Rodney Yee DVDs.
Here are some links to get you started. Have fun and choose what fits your style and your body. ♥
You can enroll with Dianne Bondy at Yogasteya. You can also check out her YouTube channel. Here’s a short sample:
There’s Curvy Yoga on YouTube:
And there’s Curvygirl Yoga, too:
My Aunt Margy recommends Jane Fonda’s yoga videos, which can be found on YouTube:
Last but not least, my all-time favourite DVDs are by Rodney Yee. Especially his Yoga for Beginners series. Here is a sample:
I’m late with my letter today – did you think I forgot you?
Spring is here in my area of the world. No doubt about it. The car is covered in pollen and I am stuffed up with hay fever. Today I knelt on the grass to take a couple of pictures (in bare legs) and now my legs are covered in an itchy rash. It will pass. It happens every spring.
One of the differences that I am really appreciating between living in the Yukon and living in southern British Columbia is how green April is.
Don’t get me wrong, I miss a lot of things about living in the North. However, April in the sub-arctic isn’t one of them.
In the Yukon, March and early April bring some of the best cross-country skiing weather you could ask for.
Here on Shuswap Lake, people are already out in their boats.
Today, everything is green, green, green. The new leaves are popping out. The daffodils, tulips, heather and forsythia are blooming. The cherry trees are blooming. The magnolia trees will be in full bloom any day. I have mowed the lawn twice.
Can you blame me for appreciating this particular difference?
All this greenness has caused me to cast on a sweater in rich dark green wool. I’m thinking ahead here, folks…it’ll be my summer knitting project. I expect to have it finished in time for the next big colourful season: autumn.
Green is my favourite colour this time of year! And what better pose for today than the Garland Pose. This is a pose I sit in a lot, though I’ve actually never done it in a yoga class!
I naturally sit in this pose quite comfortably when I’m pulling weeds in the garden, or contemplating the layout of quilt blocks on the floor. I’m lucky to have flexible ankles and stretchy calf muscles, I guess. ♥
Here is a really nice video tutorial with modifications.
Combine 2.5 m of beautiful wool-blend Prince of Wales suiting and Simplicity 4097 and what do you get? The perfect fall jumper!
I’ve always wanted a jumper, something easy that I can just pull on over top of leggings and a blouse (or a full set of long johns, lol!)
It isn’t the most flattering outfit, I suppose, but I don’t care. Since when have I ever been a walking fashion statement, anyway? Three people have already complimented me on it, and one (a total stranger!) said, “you must have made that because I haven’t seen a proper jumper in years. I’m going to pull out my sewing machine and make one for me, too!” I hope she does!
This jumper pleases my little hippy heart and it’s both physically and emotionally comfortable. Since I’ve gained a bunch of that dratted weight back, I find that it’s harder than ever to find something to wear that I feel comfortable in. And not just physically, but emotionally. Because when you’re insecure about your body, being emotionally comfortable in your clothes is very important to how happy you are in your skin. Believe me when I say this is a struggle for me. My middle-aged body is…well…middle aged.
Since my goal is to someday become an accomplished sewer-of-my-own-wardrobe, I’ve been trying to challenge myself with each new project. This time it was fitting the back bodice and matching the plaid. Actually, pattern matching went so well that I forgot to take a picture of it, lol! Trust me, it’s pretty darn close to perfect. 🙂
The bodice is lined as per the pattern instructions, but they didn’t specify what to use for lining. So I used the same wool since I had enough. I also cut the bodice and the pockets on the bias. It was a bit tricky, as this cloth really stretched on the bias. But knowing that, I was extra careful which resulted in no problems at all. Yay!
I’m also learning about fitting a pattern to my own body. My shoulders and upper back are narrow and my waist is wide. In fact, my shoulders are two sizes smaller than my waist, which requires some pattern adjustments.
I cut the back bodice an entire size smaller than the front bodice, and it was still too big. It might be time to learn how to do a sway-back adjustment.
Since the bodice was already finished and lined, there wasn’t much I could do about the back. My solution? A box pleat and a vintage covered button to take in the excess across the mid-back.
Was the box pleat a professional way to fix the problem? No, and thank goodness for long hair, which covers up some bits of messiness that I’d rather you didn’t see. However, you have to admit, the button adds a bit of charm. I adore buttons. There is a button on every piece of clothing I’ve sewn so far, whether one was required or not.
Because it’s such beautiful fabric, I wanted it to be especially nicely finished on the inside. So I zigzagged every seam and then pinked them. I’m not going to show you any pictures because there are so many that are much more interesting than a bunch of pinked seams, lol!
So, are you wondering what my fabulous fall jumper cost to make? I’ll give you a hint: everything came from the thrift store. Fabric & pattern: (insert drum roll……) $3.25. Thanks to my wonderful Creative Mr.C for taking the pictures at McGuire Lake park in downtown Salmon Arm. This is what November looks like where I live now. Love it!
We are greeted by a thick bank of lake fog every morning, lately. Some times we can’t even see the far side of the lake, it’s so thick. The air is chilly and everything is dripping with dew. By noon, though, the sun has burned off the last wisps and the air is clear and bright.
The rest of the country may be deep in the thrall of autumn; but here in Sunnybrae, my garden is reveling in stolen summer kisses.
My favourite room in the house is my covered porch. It’s a living room, dining room, library and laundry room and solarium all rolled up into one special space. Today it’s the laundry room.
I don’t have a clothes line yet. For now, I use a laundry rack. And I dry the sheets and towels over the railing. They benefit from a bit of solar bleaching, too.
It smells really nice, sitting out here surrounded by the smell of fresh laundry drying in the sun. And it feels kind of cozy and secret, the way the sun filters through the cotton.
Sitting here on the porch swing watching the laundry dry reminds me of being a little girl. I loved walking between the lines of damp laundry on the line, my hands trailing along the lines of cool drying sheets…a secret hide-away.
Misty certainly isn’t complaining.
Do you have childhood memories of laundry drying on the line?