April is the month that the snow finally melts in the Yukon. It’s a chilly, muddy month. A month for the last of the cross country skiing before you get too far into the calendar. For jumping on the trampoline in your wool socks and hoodie, mud boots kicked off and lying to the side. A month where detritus melts out of snowbanks full of gravel, a winter’s worth of dog poop revealed in the yard, plastic bags blowing in the wind. April brings the first rain we’ve seen in 6 or 7 long months. The rain that comes to take the away the snow, wash the winter from your soul.
I’m going to give the Blogging From A-Z in April challenge a shot. That’s one blog post per day April (except Sundays). That’s 26 blog posts. One for each letter of the alphabet. Wish me luck!
Today is one of those honest, old-fashioned lazy days. The kind we always wish we could have. The kind we imagine we used to have, back in the good old days, whenever those were. Of course, we can’t actually remember any specific lazy Sundays. But they must have existed, right? Because we remember them.
Maybe they don’t happen very often. Maybe that’s why they’re so special. Like today.
Outside my window the snow is falling and everything is covered in drifting white. The wind is ringing the chimes outside the front door. I have a cup of tea at my elbow and Mr. C is snoozing reading on the couch while our fur babies enjoy a group snuggle in front of the fire.
Today I did not get up with any particular agenda in mind. I may spend some time with my latest hand quilting project. This little quilt is so sweet. I’m quilting white-on-white because I want the quilt to look embossed when finished.
If you’re interested in quilting by hand, I’m using 40 weight YLI quilting thread in “natural” and John James size 10 hand quilting needles. I’m also quilting it directly in my hands instead of using a hoop or a frame. I’m also using a product called Thimble Pads on my pushing finger: little sticky leather dots. I love them.
I’m really enjoying quilting directly in my hands this way. I don’t know if I’ll go back to using a hoop after this. My stitches are a bit coarser, but they’ll improve with practice.
Other news: my critiques are all in from my little critique group. I will probably spend some time looking at them. Or maybe not.Maybe I’ll save those for tomorrow, because I know that once I open them I’m going to want to get busy with edits. I won’t be able to help myself. And that sounds like work. Not worthy for such a deliciously lazy day.
Later on my friend Cynde is coming over and we’re going to eat some of the apple cake that I made yesterday (recipe here), drink tea and watch a Craftsy class together.
Oh dear. I’m sorry I disturbed you, Sam!
Today I’m linking in with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy’s Quilts, and at Lily’s Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet. And that’s all the work I’m going to do.
I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as much as I am enjoying mine. Are you being lazy, too?
One year ago today I drove away from Whitehorse, embarking on a solo journey down the Alaska Highway in -30 something temperatures. I stopped along the way to take some photos and jot down some poems. Here is that post.
Day One: Whitehorse to Watson Lake (December 2, 2013)
This is the Alaska Highway:
At 10:45 in the morning my car’s thermometer is pegged at-30: as low as it will go. I do not know how cold it really is, only that it is colder than 30 below. After an hour on the road, there is still ice on the hood of the car and the clutch is still as stiff as tar.
I am driving East, into the rising sun, with everything I own.
When the road ahead is drenched in molten gold I know to raise my hand
in anticipation of being blinded,
until the road slides west and sunrise
outhouse in December someone has left the seat up amber icicles
Driving east, sarah brightman
eases the pie jesu
into the rising sun as brilliant bursts of liquid bronze and gold splash champagne, while shadows
chase the sweetness of the melody across the hillsides.
Telephone poles stretching one after the other, t-braces white with frost, a thousand messiahs
with knees and feet of alabaster and frosty brows bowed down,
connected by living wire, carryingmy whispered voice from christ jesus
to christ jesus to christ jesus
until it reaches your
This is a short video of the road, shot holding the camera on the dash as I drove. It’s beautiful. Click here if you can’t see it.
We went for a lovely walk this afternoon up to Margaret Falls in Harold Park. I put a few bits and pieces of film together to create my first One Shuswap Minute for you.
(If you’re viewing on your phone or other device you’ll need to visit the actual website to see the video.)
I started making these a year or so ago, calling them “One Yukon Minute.” They are meant to give you one minute to breathe and relax as you watch. Just one minute. What a gift to give to yourself during a hectic day. Plus, you also get to see a bit of what surrounds me. ♥
Contact Creek has the cheapest gas on the highway:
Somewhere between Watson Lake and Muncho Provincial Park (if you’re viewing through email, you’ll need to go directly to the website to see the short video)
Bison on the road. They lay on the sides of the road like statues. Like big boulders. You don’t realize it’s an animal lying there until you’re passing it, sometimes!
Caribou on the Alaska Highway in Muncho Provincial Park (if you’re viewing through email, you’ll need to go directly to the website to see the short video):
The drive through the mountains was awesome. A-MAZ-ING.
A long and winding (but scenic) road that used all my defensive driving skills. The road is quite a bit narrower in the winter because of the snow plowed off to the side. It wasn’t scary at all, but you do need to be alert and drive to the conditions.
I didn’t take any pictures of the road as it winds around the lake. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s sort of like driving on a flat roller coaster. Every corner is a blind corner. The road is about 1.5 lanes wide, and you can see what’s coming from several bends ahead, but you can’t see it coming right around the bend you are on. So you go slow. When you meet a transport truck, one of you has to pull off onto the side as far as you can, with a sheer rock wall on one side and the lake right on the other. Then you creep past each other with a wave and a grin before continuing on your way. It’s probably not so bad in the summer, but in the winter the snow makes it even narrower. So you can understand that I didn’t have any attention to spare for my camera!
All the mountain driving was tiring. Just when I thought I was through the mountains, I hit Stone Mountain Provincial Park. The road here was nice and wide, though, and other than a lot of climbing and descending, it was just fine.
You may have gathered that I moved into town 10 days ago, when Kelly drove out. You also know that I’ve been taking a creative writing class this semester. 🙂
Well, I’ve been working on a story and needed a big chunk of uninterrupted time to concentrate on it, so last weekend I took myself on a private writing retreat and went back to the cabin for a visit.
I put a fire in the wood stove and made a pot of tea. I roasted a chicken breast and vegetables for supper. I listened to Loreena McKennett on the iPod and quilted in my lap with a notebook and pen at my elbow. Whenever I had an idea for the story, I’d put my stitching down, pick up the notebook and jot down my thoughts.
Later, I set up the laptop and started in earnest. I remember at one point lifting my head to see that it had grown dark while I worked. What a luxury it was, having all this time completely alone, all to myself!
What thrills me the most, though st that I finished my story! It came in at just over 10,100 words. I don’t know if it would be called a long short story or a short novella…
The lake is a truly beautiful place to write, but especially when you get up in the morning and the water is clear as glass and there is a fresh dusting of snow on the far hills.
I didn’t have my camera with me, so dug up these photos from the archives. The lake is timeless, though, and this is truly what my weekend view looked like. 🙂