Thursday, August 26, 2010

Address From The Chair

It's time for another Fireside Chat.
We all enjoy a good belly laugh now and again. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.
But there are also moments where a degree of seriousness is required. 
Especially when discussing deep subjects like 
proper posture in carriers and strollers and purple-coloured seats, 
timing of vaccinations, and the quality of cotton used in diapers.

It's all very exhausting, really.
But we're getting through, my parents and I, one topic at a time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Alberta

With one day off a week these days, we really treasure our Sundays as time together as a family. 
Yesterday we slept in, went out for breakfast, bought a couple of new clothes for E, and then went for a long drive in west central Alberta. 

We had a location where we needed to end up (the Danish Canadian National Museum at Dickson, where I did a bunch of my research and am still involved) but we didn't have a time limit. 
We had a backroads of Alberta mapbook, and we took secondary highways, machinery roads and gravel for most of the way (our poor car sadly needs a wash now...)

I love Alberta.
The old barns in various states of disrepair (or repair).
Memorials to towns and schools and communities no longer there.
Fields of richly coloured crops almost ready for harvest.
Hills and valleys, drumlins and eskers, creeks and rivers, lakes and swamps and dug-outs.
Places that still reveal traces of the settlers' European heritage.
Places that remain relatively untouched, containing native plant species that are becoming more and more rare.

We live in a beautiful province, made especially beautiful by the season of full bounty awaiting harvest. 

It was a refreshing break from our little plot of mud and clutter and hard work.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life Today

We three
and our moat
and our drawbridge
and the hole in the foundation.

What more can I say?

Birthday too

It's Robert Plant's birthday too.

Have you heard the duet album of him and Alison Krauss? It's amazing. Definitely one of the top albums of the past couple of years.

So without further ado, Plant and Krauss and "Stick with me Baby."

Everybody's been a-talkin'; they say our love wasn't real
That it would soon be over; that's not the way that I feel
But I don't worry, honey; let them say what they may
Come on and stick with me, baby; we'll find a way
Yes, we'll find a way

Everybody's been a-talkin'; yes, the news travels fast
They said the fire would stop burnin', that the flame wouldn't last
But I don't worry, honey; let them say what they may
Come on & stick with me, baby; we'll find a way
Yes, we'll find a way

Come on and stick with me, baby

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Life in France

My Life in FranceMy Life in France by Julia Child

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A genuinely entertaining read! Normally I don't enjoy autobiographies because what the author finds interesting about herself is not necessarily what her readers will find interesting. Not so with this one. Child is funny and descriptive and I learned a lot about French cooking (who knew the proper way to beat egg whites requires a copper bowl!?). The book has scattered photographs throughout that add to the story and show off the beautiful French landscape and culture. The movie Julie and Julia is based closely on this book.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Saturday Night...

We all needed a bath after Saturday. But only E got hers on the kitchen counter.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Working Museum

Carstairs Custom Woolen Mill

The carding, batting and spinning machines from an upstairs look-out.
 E and I visited the Custom Woolen Mill near Carstairs.

The Museum calls itself a "working museum" -- and that is exactly what it is. As a side note, Dan, I think you would love this place.
Making yarn

The Mill receives wool from all over Alberta, washes it, cards it, and makes it into woolen batts or yarn. They also sew wool duvets with a one-of-a-kind long-armed sewing machine unit and knit socks on giant machines.

 The machines are largely all built in the 1800s and the whole operation has the feel of a Victorian era Industrial Revolution textiles operation.
The carding and batt-making machine up close.
The Mill has a millwright and a metal lathe on hand to fix or rebuild gears and sprockets to fix the machines.
The carding/batting machine up close.
The business is so busy they have two years' supply of unprocessed wool waiting in storage sheds.
The sprocket system the quilt design runs on.
The head of the sewing machine.
In addition to making socks, quilts, yarn, felt and batting, they also make wool insulation, which, I'm told, is used often for insulating log cabins.
Quilting a quilt.

It was free to tour; the staff were knowledgeable, friendly and wanted to share about their work; it was a very cool place to visit. Now, if only I could finish my quilt so I could take it here to be bound with warm and long-lasting Alberta wool batting!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August Long

It was a busy weekend for everyone,
not just us.
One brother and sister-in-law moved.
Another found a place to move to.
We installed three windows and tore stucco off the house.

And found time for visiting, pancakes, a trip to the city, ice cream,
and a walk for just the three of us.
(though one of the three managed to sleep through most of the excursion).

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