Saturday, July 25, 2015

Officially Two!

It's official. Lucy is now two years old. She's at that wonderful age when blowing out candles on a cupcake is even better than the presents. (Either that, or she has inherited the fire bug genes from her dad's side of the family.) 

Two is when you want to be Nana's helper. Watering the garden is a treat rather than a chore.

Two is when you discover the joy of picking and eating blueberries, fresh off the bushes.

Two-year-olds are also big enough to swim in the pool, and at the lake. They can pick vegetables out of the garden, and they fit perfectly into a play house. 

Two-year-olds can make your heart melt by reaching out to hold your hand, giving hugs, or sweetly singing along to a song from Frozen when you're driving home from the zoo. And they are even old enough to enjoy some time on Nana's front porch. Happy Birthday Lucy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Four Cuppa Day

Today has been the perfect temperature, both inside the cottage and out. I love these kinds of days because it's cool enough to have a mid-morning and mid-afternoon cup of tea (added to my two early morning cups!), but warm enough to sit out on the front porch to drink them.

Today is also momentous in its own sort of way, because it was exactly two years ago we moved here. Here's the post I wrote just a few days after arriving, and the one I wrote a year ago. So much has happened in the past two years, much of it wonderful, and, as life tends to go, some of it quite difficult. Our family has added Lucy, and soon there will be another grandchild added to the mix. Of all the special things that have happened since we moved here, this tops the list. Being a grandparent is pure joy.

There are so many other good things that have happened since we moved here - getting two books published, the trip to the UK in 2013, that crazy 80th birthday for my mom in Las Vegas last year, and friends and family coming to visit are the things that stand out in my mind. There are also some sad things such as losing my friend to cancer, and two marriages in our family, both extended and immediate, that have ended. These things have left me feeling a great sense of loss, and I'm still working my way through them emotionally.

But the thing that remains constant, the thing that keeps me grounded and brings me back to a sense of equilibrium no matter what else is going on in my life is this place. And by place I don't mean the actual cottage we live in. I mean the mountains standing guard over our home, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the smell of the forest, the beauty of each season as it unfolds. It's the trails I walk and the way the light falls on the lake at various times of the day. It's the feeling of contentment as I sit on my front porch, drinking it all in right along with my cup of tea.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Two Wee Sweaters

After almost three weeks of heat we finally have a cool day. The world feels and smells fresh again. Now we just need some rain to come along and give everything a good soak. Of course, the first day we are forecast to have rain is Sunday, which also happens to be the day Rebekah and Anton are bringing his parents and aunt out to visit. His parents live in Toronto, and his aunt lives in Siberia. I had several things planned to do with them the day they are here, but am now scrambling to come up with some alternate activities in case it's wet outside. It's all made a bit more complicated due to the fact his aunt only speaks Russian. I anticipate lots of smiling, head nodding and hand gestures.

I've talked about the little kimono I was knitting for Rebekah's baby, and I finally have a picture to show you. It's actually been done for a couple weeks, but I didn't get the project up on Ravelry until today. Rebekah had requested this pattern, and she chose the yarn, so I'm pretty sure she's going to be happy with it.

Seamless Kimono

This next sweater I'm not so sure about. In fact, when we were looking at potential baby patterns on Ravelry a few months ago I think she might have actually vetoed this one. It is so small I'm quite sure it will only fit for about three minutes after the baby is born, and it has a name that leaves a bit to be desired. But I thought it was cute as a button, which is why I have renamed it Button Button on my Ravelry project page.

Puerperium Cardigan

The best part of making this wee cardigan was choosing the buttons. My friend and neighbour Lynda has a button collection and invited me to come have a look. We had a blast sifting through hundreds of buttons, coming up with just the right colours. There might have been a glass of wine involved at some point as well.

Picture credit to Lynda

Now I'm down to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Sweater On Two Needles. Karen from Pumpkin Sunrise very kindly came to my rescue and sent some expanded instructions, so I now have high hopes of it actually getting completed, and having it resemble a sweater for a human baby instead of something from the animal kingdom. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday News

Three letters perfectly sum up things from my little corner of the planet. HOT. Hot as in day after day of record breaking heat. Also record breaking lack of rain. The only rain we have seen in weeks happened one morning early last week, and by the time that day was over I could see what a mistake the weather gods had made with that decision. The rain lasted about a half hour, and didn't really cool things down. What it did do as the day wore on was turn the outdoors into a steam bath.

Today has made the last couple of weeks look like child's play. It is 35 degrees Centigrade ( 95 Fahrenheit) as I sit here writing this post. It's too hot to think, too hot to do anything, and ironically, it's even too hot to walk down to the lake to go for a swim and try to cool off. I tried that a few days ago, and by the time I walked back home all the goodness of the swim had been cancelled out by the hot walk back.

My current strategy is to get up early and do everything that needs to be done in the morning. Today I went out to the blueberry farm and picked 13 pounds of berries. Then I came home and went for a walk. Next up was trying to figure out the instructions to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Sweater on Two Needles. She's known for her pithy instructions, but I would say she's outdone herself for pithiness with this little sweater. There's a very good chance it might end up with three sleeves. Or worse yet, no sleeves, by the time I finish.

In fact, I was still working on this sweater this afternoon, but due to the heat and not being able to think properly, I made a mistake in one of the lace rows. By the time I fixed that I decided I might have better luck blogging than knitting.

So on this extremely hot day, the hottest day on record for Cultus Lake, I have a finished project to share with you. A blanket. Yes, I know I showed you the Hudson's Bay baby blanket I knit in my last post, but there's another baby blanket I've made, and I have to say I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I saw the instructions for this over at the SeeKateSew blog, and instantly fell in love with it. Now, I'm not a quilter. And I'm rubbish at sewing. But this quilt had the word yarn in its name, and I have lots of yarn, so I figured it was meant to be. That just left the fabric, batting and thread to buy and I would be all set. Oh, and the help of my kind knitting/quilting neighbour Lynda, who supplied the expertise.

I think this new little grandchild will have lots of fun pointing to all of the animals and making the accompanying noises, and probably her parents will too.

I also think with two blankets I can now rest assured that this baby won't get cold. Not that there would be any danger of that right now, but before we know it the cool, damp weather will have returned. And before we know it this new baby will have arrived. She's due in about four weeks!