Highway Knitting & the Itsy-Bitsy Yarn Store

We’re home!

We got home last night after what felt like a (relatively) short drive. The trip that usually takes three nights only took two this time. That’s because instead of driving the entire Alaska Highway, we cut a loop off by taking the Stewart-Cassiar. It’s a full half-day shorter, cutting one night out of the journey. What a difference!  Continue reading “Highway Knitting & the Itsy-Bitsy Yarn Store”

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August edition

It seems as simple-woman-daybook-smallthough I do a Simple Woman’s Daybook post about once every three months.  Today seems like a good day for one. Check out the link to see what other women are up to today. And if you’re a blogger, join in! 🙂

Outside my window… the sun is breaking through the clouds and it’s starting to warm up again. It was quite cool when we started out on this mornings walk, and I was wearing a sweater. By the time we got home, though, the sweater was tied around my waist and I regretted not putting on sunscreen.  Those sunbeams feel like lasers when they hit the skin! I didn’t have a hat, either. I should have known better. But my goodness, the air smells wonderful right now after a night of deep soaking rain! When the sun warms the wet soil & trees it just smells like summer.

I am thinking…about the novel I’ve been working on. I’m thinking about where the story is going and how I want to get one of my characters from here to there. I’ve skipped ahead and written a couple of chapters out of order. Now I have to go back and connect them. It takes a bit of thinking, and like Winnie the Pooh says, “…that’s a very good habit to get into.”

I am thankful…Yesterday we went for a hike with our friend Rebekah (remember the one who got locked in the outhouse?). We’d just started going up the Upper Margaret Falls trail when suddenly a big whoosh of wind came down and knocked a tree down right behind us. Crack! The air filled with needles and floating debris. A moment later, another Crack! and a second tree came down. Right after that we heard the sound of electrical wires humming and popping. Well, crap. We turned around and descended to where we could see the power lines along the side of the road. Sure enough, a tree lay suspended over the line, and both downed line and tree hung right over the trail. Not wanting to go under the line, we bushwhacked our way down the hill, slid down the embankment and crossed the road to the parking lot. The sky had opened and let go a deluge before we got there, of course, so we were fairly soaked by the time we made it back to the car. My pedometer said we took a total of 650 steps. So much for the hike. I am thankful that nobody was hurt.

In the kitchen…In just a minute I’m going to put a batch of sourdough bread on in my breadmaker. I love having a breadmaker in the summer because we can enjoy fresh bread for toast and sandwiches as well as loaves of banana bread without turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen. Mr. C has gone to visit his cousin in Vernon for the day, so I’m looking forward to having fresh toast with my soup at supper time. What kind of soup? Zero-point home-made broccoli. Yum!

I am wearing…a comfortable khaki-coloured skirt, apple green sleeveless t-shirt top and flip flops.

I am going…Mr. C and I have been talking about how we want to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary next month. He will be in Whitehorse on the actual day, and is feeling bad about it. But I said not to worry about it. We’ll celebrate when he gets back. We’ll do something we used to do on our anniversary but haven’t done for many years…go on a camping adventure! So I am going to spend some time on the internet and look up campgrounds and National & Provincial parks, hiking trails and things to see around Nelson and Cranbrook in the Kootney region of British Columbia. That’s where we’ve decided to go for a couple of days because the last time we were there was more than 30 years ago.  That’s waaaaay more fun than dinner in a fancy restaurant in my books.

I am wondering…I put the wire laundry rack out on the lawn yesterday morning instead of the covered deck. We were having company and the deck isn’t really big enough to entertain on if the laundry is drying there, too. So I thought why not let it sit out in the bright sun. Maybe the whites will get whiter. Well, of course, it rained. And then it rained again. So I’m wondering now if the sun will be out long enough for it to all dry before the end of today. It looks promising so far…

Update from 5 minutes ago: a sun shower! At least the laundry will smell really really fresh, lol!

I am reading…The Sign, by Raymond Khoury. I don’t think I’ve read anything by him before. It’s a pretty good SF read and I’m enjoying it. I’ll read one of his other novels when I’m finished with this one.  It’s one I picked randomly off the shelf at the library. Those librarians are so clever, the way they stand books up at the ends of the rows just to entice me to take them home and read them, lol!

I’m also reading The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd for one of my critique partners, Holly Kerr. It’s really cool to be a beta reader for a real working author. Man oh man, you’ve no idea how cool. Especially when she critiques my work in turn! Look for her books on Amazon!

I am hoping/I am looking forward to/the future holds… getting involved in some new things. We’ve lived here a year and a half now. I am hoping that I can start finding a place in the community now. I’d like to do some things this fall like get involved in a new quilting guild I found in Blind Bay. They are a fun group of ladies whose company I enjoyed the few times I met them last year. There’s also the Shuswap Quilters Guild which I got involved with last year and will probably continue with. BUT I really don’t want to become a middle-aged lady who only just quilts, ya know? So I want to learn line dancing, too. Problem, is, it meets on the same day/time as the Shuswap Quilt Guild. So I don’t know what I’ll do about that. And I’m once again considering teaching a dance class or two. And I might give the local writers group another shot. I wasn’t too impressed (didn’t feel welcome) when I tried last fall, but maybe they deserve a 2nd chance…I like to be involved in things.

I am learning…is there such a thing as an introverted extrovert? Because I’m pretty sure that’s what I am. And it feels a bit silly to still be figuring myself out at 54 years of age. Eee Gads.

Around the house…the radio is off for a change. The fridge is humming. the two wind-up clocks are ticking (cuckoo and mantle). A cool breeze is wafting through the curtain hanging in my door. The sounds of crickets and birds chirruping have made their way through the windows, which are wide open.

In the garden…zucchini!

I am pondering…a title for my work in progress. A novel needs a title, even if nobody but me and my critique partners will ever read it. I’ve gone just past 50,000 edited words now, and it feels like it’s time to give it a name. The one I’m contemplating is Holding Space. But Double Exposure is in close second place.

and also…is it time for a new banner on this blog?

A favorite quote for todaythink think thinkA few plans for the rest of the week…I don’t really want to have to DO anything, actually, but I’d like to look through my dress patterns and think about maybe making another shift dress.  And I’ll probably take advantage of Mr. C being busy at the airport for the next couple of days to do some writing. Lots of writing, actually.

A peek into my day…a bit of this, bit of that, some of the other thing.


Thankful for Rick Rack: The Simple Woman’s Day Book, January Edition

Today I am taking part in The Simple Woman’s Daybook. I haven’t done it for awhile. Today seems like a good day for it. Check out the link to see what other simple women are up to today. And if you’re a blogger, join in! 🙂
simple-woman-daybook-smallOutside my window… The sky and the lake are both the same colour. Fog obscures the far shore. Everything is shrouded and still.
I am thinking… about how I am procrastinating this morning. I mean to wash the floors but keep finding other things to do first. Like this blog entry. And how I couldn’t do anything (even get dressed!) until I sewed a bag. And my fiction story is waiting for me. I would prefer to devote the majority of my day today to it. And I just might do that! Who needs clean floors, anyway? (insert shifty-eyed emoticon here)
I am thankful…for the love of my husband and the care of my friends and my laptop and the web. And for pink shoes. And rick rack. Definitely thankful for rick rack this morning!
In the kitchen…no mess! Nothing baking, nothing cooking. Just the kettle waiting to be filled.
I am wearing…leggings and my funky green baby-doll top, my favourite brown sweater that could really stand to be new (but maybe that’s why it’s my favourite – well used/loved), beige & brown polka dot socks and my birks.  and a good collection of loose threads. Insulation, you know!
I am creating… a bag! I needed a bag for the Friendship Garden Quilt that I finished (click the link to see it) and just happened to have some happy denim-like sunflower fabric that I got at the thrift store that actually kind of matches the quilt! But I had some bobbin tension issues…
002Ta da! Rick rack to the rescue!
003The bag looked kind of small. Would the quilt fit?
007008The pattern is from The Green Bag Lady. I changed up the pattern a bit…4″ straps instead of 3″ and I used French seams.
I am going…to the Big Band Valentine’s Day dance in Whitehorse on Saturday! Pink shoes, you know. Just sayin’.
I am wondering…who of my old friends will be there to dance with me? 🙂 …And also what it would be like to write a song. My friend Fawn Fritzen, who is an awesome singer, is taking part in FAWM (sort of like NaNoWriMo except it’s February Album Writing Month) where she has to write 15 songs during the month of February. It would be fun to write a song together, except maybe more fun for me than for Fawn, lol! since I have never written a song in my life and can’t sing a note to save it!
I am reading…Festive in Death by J.D.Robb. I checked it out from the library and it is due tomorrow!
I am hoping…that I can  finish this book tonight! Shouldn’t be a problem…I love J.D.Robb’s Eve Dallas stories. 🙂 (did you know that J.D.Robb is actually Nora Roberts? Such a versatile author! And prolific…eee gads, that gal can write!)
I am looking forward to…spending time at the Fox Lake cabin. Really looking forward to it. I want to walk in the door and not walk out again for days and days. I love it there so much!
I am learning…always.
Around the house…dust bunnies to sweep. kitty and doggy footprints to mop, a rug to vacuum, a bathroom to polish.
I am pondering…whether I should sign up for a free Open University Future Learn course called Start Writing Fiction, which focuses on the central skill of creating characters. It’s 8 weeks long and starts at the end of April. Only 3 hours per week, but I am so slow, I know I will  need to devote more time than that to it.  I should sign up for this. Yes, I should.  But I’ve never taken one of these free Open University courses before. Have you?
A favorite quote for today…“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
One of my favorite things…cold left over pizza and tea, earl grey, hot – for breakfast! Served with a good book in a corner of the couch and don’t talk to me until I’m done!
A few plans for the rest of the week…Spend time writing on my fiction piece. I need to get another couple of chapters ready to send to my two critique partners, Holly and Lisa. And I’ve got Holly’s chapters to read and make comments on. Plus, I am determined to make 14 (yes, I said fourteen) baby elephants for the elephant-a-long that I’m participating in. 🙂 Here are the momma and daddy elephants:
013A peek into my day…because no matter else what I may or may not do today, writing is at the top of the list. 🙂
012and this:
045with a good dose of this little guy who will need to go for a walk.
IMG_1174What are you doing today?

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – August “Office” Edition

simple-woman-daybook-smallFOR TODAY

Outside my window…it is overcast but I can see some blue between the clouds.

I am thinking...about how much I would love to be lowering my stress levels at a dance workshop right now, hip-dropping myself into a sweaty ball, or howling with laughter over a silly joke with a girlfriend. Yesterday, alone in the office, I dialed up a Middle Eastern music station and worked to Amr Diab, Hafiz and Oum Kolthum. I have never done that in the office before. Since I am alone in the office again today, I am thinking that I might just do it again.

I am thankful…that my recovery from menopausal depression is withstanding the stress of these last several days weeks and that I have learned to recognize, acknowledge and ACT on my feelings of tiredness and stress before they overwhelm me…to be able to say “this is about me” and say what I need.

On another note, I am also thankful to feel inspired (and, yes, even impatient!) to rejoin the dance world (are you surprised?)

In the kitchen…since I am writing this on my lunch break where I work at Yukon College, my kitchen of the moment happens to be the top of my desk, which has a half-eaten sandwich hiding somewhere amongst a pile of paperwork on it at the moment.

I am wearing…leggings, sandals and a tunic top. Not the most appropriate office attire, but the campus is quiet so it’s okay.

I am creating…I have just spent the entire morning formatting a draft MOU between our Bachelor of Social Work program and the University of Regina. At home, I’ve started a new project: making a quilt out of hand sewn hexagons. I can’t have only the ONE project on the go after all…two is definitely twice the fun.

I am going…to pick up the truck after work. It is in the shop getting camper bars put on. Yay camping! Then to take Samson for a walk. Then (maybe) to a gals night out going away party. I say “maybe” because I am unbelievably tired emotionally – and it feels like a lot of work to go anywhere but home.

I am wondering…what possessed me to write this during my lunch break. You don’t really get a lunch break when you stay at your desk. I’ve already been interrupted a half-dozen times to do work, lol!

I am reading…Royal Weddings – a Harlequin Romance book of three short stories about girls who meet princes-in-disguise. This is sheer unadulterated, brainless, entertaining summer reading and I am not going to apologize for it!

I am hoping…that the scale doesn’t reflect the crap I’ve eaten this week. Stress eating. Yuck for gut.

I am looking forward to…getting some exercise. I feel antsy and wound up. And getting home to sew.

I am learning…to make neat little hand sewn seams that the Queen herself would be proud of.

Around the house…since I am at the office, I’ll say “around the office”. We are in the middle of moving, so everything is in boxes and discombobulated (don’t you love that word?)

I am pondering…ugh. Do I have to?

A favorite quote for today…“don’t ask me, I just work here”

One of my favorite things…well okay…I will admit it…I love shopping. I do. God help me and my bank account.

A few plans for the rest of the week…no plans. I’m just gliding along day by day, enjoying the summer.



A Simple Woman’s Daybook: July edition

Since there isn’t electricity or internet at the cabin, I’ll be writing my posts and publishing them the next day from town.







(It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these!)

Sunday, July 7th, 2013:

Outside my window…when I got up at 5:30 this morning, the lake looked like this:








But now, several hours later, the wind has picked up causing the lake to surge onto the shore. A man in a boat has just gone past the dock, giving up the battle against the waves and Samson has marked his passage with loud barks of indignation that the boat should pass so close.

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I am thinking…about my friend Pam who came over for tea yesterday. We sat on the porch swing, she with her crochet and me with my stitching and solved the world’s problems. She remembered that it was my birthday and brought me a lovely gift basket, containing (among other things) a recipe book for vegetables, because Pam knows that I want to eat more vegetables but don’t know how to prepare them (vegetables don’t come naturally to me). Thank you, Pam!

I am thankful…that we are having such a wonderful summer in the Yukon this year. We have had several years of non-summer, so this one – this last summer – feels like a gift.

In the Kitchen…water is heating on the propane stove so that I can wash the dishes that I used to make a pan of lasagna. The lasagna is in the fridge, ready for the oven tomorrow. It should provide supper for several nights next week. CBC’s Cross Country Check-up is playing on the radio.

I am wearing…yoga pants and a sleeveless t-shirt. My feet are bare. I would not be wearing this outfit if there were anybody else here besides me because I am self-conscious of the 20 pounds I put on during my year of illness. I also think that it is interesting and sweet that this question is included in the Daybook…such a female thing.

I am creating…so many things! I have spent part of the morning hand quilting and thinking of what to name this quilt. I think it needs to be named after an exotic tropical drink. Tequila Sunrise, anyone?








I am going…well, nowhere at the moment. Today is Sunday and I am at home. I have been here all week, alone (except for Sammy, Spooky & Misty), while Kelly and Michael have been driving the U-Haul to Salmon Arm. I’ve enjoyed being self-sufficient this week.

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I am wondering…what time I will get to sleep tonight. Kelly and Michael will get to the house about 1am. Then there will be the visiting and catching up, and I have to leave the house at 7:30 to go to work in the morning!

I am reading…My new vegetable cookbook for mealtime inspiration and Nora Roberts for entertainment.

I am hoping…that my son’s appointment to talk about getting a mortgage goes well tomorrow.

I am looking forward to…having my husband home in my arms tonight! And trying some of my new vegetable recipes!

I am learning…to listen to my body and ask questions (does my knee hurt because I have not stretched my hamstrings? Am I eating this because I am hungry or simply because I am bored or lonely?

Around the house…all is calm and a fresh cup of tea awaits me. The wind has picked up, causing the curtain that I hung in place of a screen door to billow in and out. I love using fabric instead of a screen door – it lets the cats & dog go in and out as they please, when they please; it keeps the bugs out and it billows in the wind. What more could you want?

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I am pondering…what my new life will be like after I retire and move to Salmon Arm in November. Will I be bored? Will I make new friends? (No! and Yes!)

A favourite quote for today… “20 minutes in the kitchen can save you 3 hours at the gym” – Devin Alexander from her cookbook I Can’t Believe It’s Not Fattening.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Go to work. Come home. Sit on the deck with a glass of wine. Catch up on the day with my family. Write a few blog posts to publish from town during the week (no electricity & no internet at the cabin).

A peek into my day… I have appointments with my Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVD and one of my Rodney Yee yoga DVDs this afternoon, but first I’m off to do my nails. Ciao!

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook is a monthly linkup. Why don’t you check it out and join in?