Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Six

:: Jay was away this week cat sitting for his sister. My viewing on Netflix and Slingplayer is greatly curtailed when he is away because I am a first class coward. The series I am currently watching is The Bridge. I've mastered the art of reading subtitles while knitting, which, if you think about it, is a skill that doesn't really transfer to anything else in life. I'm almost at the end of season one and have come to the conclusion that the female police detective, Saga Noren, is almost as scary as the psychopath they are trying to find.

:: Last week my vehicle was broken into while I was hiking up Teapot Hill. To say this was a low moment would be a gross understatement. I heard my car alarm go off just as I got to the bottom of the hill, and was close enough to catching the thieves in the act that I caught a glimpse of the back of their beat-up old van as it sped out of the parking lot. The back window was bashed in, and my purse, which had been carefully concealed on the floor at the back, had been stolen. They also grabbed my favourite lightweight jacket, which really made me mad. That jacket was perfect for traveling, and had been to China, South Korea, England, Scotland, Shetland, Wales, Ireland and Luxembourg with me. I've since replaced it with a new jacket, but it just isn't the same. Replacing all of my ID and cancelling bank cards has been a major headache, and the whole thing left me feeling quite depressed.

:: The news this past week has also been quite depressing. It feels like the world just keeps tilting a bit more with each new horrific event. I'm trying to find a balance between being well informed and being an ostrich. Right now the ostrich option is looking very appealing. How do you cope with the constant stream of bad news? I would appreciate any tips you might have for maintaining a sense of balance in the midst of current world events.

:: On a brighter note, the blueberry farm is now open. I've picked at least thirty pounds so far, and hope to pick at least that many more before the season ends. I try to put lots in the freezer, I dehydrate some, and best of all we eat tons of them fresh. And I was the lucky winner of a ten pound box of berries in a draw the farm had, which was especially nice because it happened right after my vehicle was broken into and made me feel like the universe was somehow trying to balance things out again.

:: Another bright spot was my visit with Oliver and Lucy last weekend. I couldn't believe how much Oliver had changed since I last saw him. He's smiling and cooing, and I even got him to laugh a couple of times. Although I don't think Karsten and Diana believed me since they didn't hear it themselves. And Lucy had me laughing on more than one occasion! Oh my goodness, the things that come out of the mouth of an almost three year old.

:: And, of course, there has been knitting. I still have shawl fever. It's something I thought I was immune to, but now that I've caught it I can see it might be incurable. This is the Amulet Shawl, which is the second shawl pattern released in Curious Handmade's Shawl Society. It's my first time working with beads, and I'm impressed by the fact they are actually sticking on the shawl. I'm also working on the Montbretia Shawl from The Book of Haps by Kate Davies. My strategy is to work on Montbretia while the dogs are around, and the beaded Amulet after they've gone to bed for the night. Beads and Fergus are not a good mix!

Those are my six things for a summer Sunday. I hope the rest of your weekend is filled with lovely things.

Monday, July 4, 2016

An Idaho Hike

Last week I was in Spokane to visit my mom. She seems to be doing well, and has mostly recovered from the multiple health issues she had faced earlier this year. My visit coincided with a family reunion. It was great visiting with cousins I hadn't seen in years, and in many cases decades. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures. We were having such a good time I didn't get around to taking many pictures, and the few I did take aren't all that great.

I do have pictures from the next day though. My brother and I drove to the Idaho/Montana border and hiked up to the Stevens Lakes. It is quite a steep climb up to the alpine lakes, but worth the effort required. (This was my first time to get 200 flights on my Fitbit before I was at 10,000 steps!)

This area of Northern Idaho is full of many abandoned silver mines, along with many that are still active. Here you can see the old tracks for the mining train.

Never mind silver. The real treasures in the mountains of Northern Idaho are these. Huckleberries! These are my favourite berry, my favourite fruit, and quite possibly my overall favourite food.

This is the first of the lakes. The picture doesn't do it justice.

This white flower is known by several names, the most common being Bear Grass. It was in bloom all along the trail once we reached the higher elevation.

The second lake was a bit smaller than the first, but every bit as beautiful.

This frog (or toad??) was sitting on the path, unnoticed by me since I was busy taking in the view. I don't know who jumped higher, me or the frog. Fortunately it was the only one to land in the water. (No, I'm not afraid of frogs. But I am afraid of snakes, and for just a second that's what I thought it was. And yes, I know snakes don't jump.)

We encountered lots of rocks on the hike. We went through them.

We went over them.

And I even climbed on top of one. Although honesty forces me to admit I was only on top of this rock for a microsecond. Heights and I don't do well together.

I love where I live now, and you often read about my hikes in the beautiful mountains that are near our cottage. But these mountains, well, these are the mountains of my childhood. The wildflowers, the berries, the trees, the smell of the forest, it all brought back a flood of memories from when I was young. And I left guiltily thinking maybe I love them just a little bit more than the ones out my front door.