Stampede Memories

July 22, 2010

I had a good time again at the Stampede, mainly due to sticking with the parts of it that I really like.  Horses, skating shows, mini-donuts, sheep, more horses, knitting expos, and acrobatic skating shows.  Items I really liked repeated for emphasis.  I ended up going twice, the first time to see Glass Tiger and Loverboy, which was tons of fun.  At this age we are able to sing along, act like idiots in public, and not really care what the kids think, as we make more money, and they look rather silly if you ask me with their crazy fashion trends.  I was happy to see 80’s rock hair coming back strongly.  The knitting display is so much fun as each year I know more and more people who have submitted items and won huge prizes!  The level of knitting was elevated this year over the last, and the giant fun fur jacket did not win anything!  Amazing!  The skating show combined 3 excellent skaters plus Elvis Stoiko and his new wife, 3 acrobatic acts, and a live rock and roll band.  The excellent skaters were Vaughn Chipeur from Calgary, and the wonderful Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who were outstanding as always.  It was a very good show, and a quick half hour to a packed audience, and free with admission no less!  I’ll leave you with my favorite photo of the whole experience, our view for most of the concert:

 Strike a pose!

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Fernie Weekend

July 20, 2010

The mountains around Fernie are very green this time of year, and just bursting with life.  It was so good to get out of the city and wander around in the woods, cleansing my lungs with some nice fresh air.  We had beautiful days and rainy evenings with a fair amount of mosquitos which inclined us to skip the campfire and instead play cribbage inside the tent before falling asleep.  We got our wedding business out of the way by noon on Saturday, which is the benefit of only having two places to visit.  We have decided on one venue, and are now deciding on which weekend next June will be the lucky one.  One venue was better for guest accommodation, but the other (Elk Valley Lodge) had such beautiful locationsto  have the actual ceremony and reception.  We can either get married outside on the lawn surrounded by trees and mountains, or inside the loft with the mountain view.  Can’t lose there.  The lodge will do all the decoration with candles and wild flowers on the tables, and what will hopefully be excellent food.  I’m already looking forward to it. The rooftop hot tub doesn’t hurt either.   After the tough decisions were made we took ourselves into the mountains!

Ahhh, the babbling brook, the wild flowers, the breeze, the sunshine, the constant calls of “yo bear” as I worried about stumbling onto a black or grizzly bear.  There have also been cougars sighted in the area.

On Sunday I took myself up to the incredible Island Lake Lodge.  If we have about  a million dollars budget we would get married here by the lake, but alas we don’t.  I started around the lake loop, which is well used by tourists, and close into the lodge.  I suddenly glanced up and noticed a giant bull moose about ten feet down the trail, silent gazing at me, already stopped.

He had the huge antlers, the beard, and rather a calm demeanor which didn’t fool me.  As a wise Canadian I didn’t stop to take photos, but instead gave up the trail to him, as he was obviously going my way.  I went about 10 feet off the trail and hunkered down behind some rather sturdy looking trees that I figured were close enough together that he couldn’t get through them with his huge antlers.  I was hoping he would keep going down the trail so that I could get a better photo, but after around 10 minutes he did  a sharp right turn and went off into the woods.  He seemed very peaceful and not too worried by me, but better safe than sorry!  And here I was worried about the cougar sightings!

The heat has finally found us here in Alberta, and its glorious.  It cools off just the right amount at night in order to sleep.  This weekend Mr. J and I are heading down to Fernie for a weekend of camping among the cedars and a bit of wedding planning.  The good thing is that in a small town there are only two possible venues to look at.  I don’t think I have the patience to look at any more!  The first one is called Elk Valley Lodge, and may also be a Raw Food retreat venue.  However those among my family who just jumped to the conclusion that at the wedding we will be serving all raw food and have declared your intention to not attend the wedding, don’t worry.  They serve all kinds of food!  So far we’ve justed perused the website, and have been very impressed by the lodge itself, and the views down the valley.  We could get married in their loft, or outside on the balcony if the weather is nice.  Then everyone goes inside, has tapas, and then dinner.  So easy!  Around 2/3 of the guests can probably stay right at the lodge, and Fernie with all its numerous hotels is 4 km down the road. 

The other location is at the Fernie ski resort, the Lizard Creek Lodge.  Again its a beautiful place, with indoor locations and outdoor wedding locations.  I couldn’t plan an outdoor wedding without an indoor back-up plan.  We’re going to have breakfast there on Saturday, and look around. 

We’re staying at the provincial campground, which doesn’t have many facilities.  By Saturday morning we shouldn’t be too stinky.  After that we’ll jump in the local creek a few times.

I just made rice crispy squares as our camping treat.  And not just any rice crispy squares, I put fruit loops in them.  Another reason why Mr. J wants to marry me!

Slowly but surely I’ve been whitting away on the 10 pieces of Flower Child.  The back is done now, doesn’t it look good in the photo?  Yeah, kind of a dog’s breakfast.  Here is hoping that once it is blocked and sewn together and finished it will look a bit better.  I’m doing the fronts now, with a highly exciting pattern!!  There are bobbles and everything.

Other WIP’s include baby cardigans, socks, and an Icarus shawl, but I’ll save those for next week (when there is more progress).

Swatching

July 6, 2010

I had a fit of swatching on the weekend, due to my Tall Flower Cardi being finished, except for one sleeve.  The extra yarn in on order!  The top small swatches are Alpaca Drops for a Buttercup sweater.  I can’t wait to start this one!  The green is my fabulous Peace Fleece which may become a Drops cardigan.  I had been looking around for a short sleeve sweater with cables, since I only have 5 skeins, and this one looked almost perfect.  I got excellent gauge as well, and knitted up, washed and dried the Peace Fleece is even better.  I kinda want to start the green cardigan first, but I think I’ll make myself start Buttercup, as its more of a cold summer, early fall sweater.  I have itchy fingers!!

Olds Fibre Fair

July 5, 2010

The Olds Fibre Fair was a great day out, made more special by not only seeing old friends, but their new babies as well!  We had a car full this year, which made for some lively conversation on the hour long drive to Olds through the green verdant countryside.  Its officially verdant this year due to all the rain, which is good for us, but bad for farmers.  And by good for us I mean I haven’t had to water the lawn at all, and its actually still green and alive.  I don’t have any photos of the fair itself, due to the unscenic nature of the location, in the mechanical shop at the College.  Its in stark contrast to how lovely the grounds are, but it was filled with beautiful goods.  I did one good circuit of all the booths, and then went back for items that caught my eye.  I couldn’t resist the Fleece Artist Peter Rabbit again (on the right), and the middle skein of purply/blue was too close to a smashed blueberry to resist.  I found the colours incredibly beautiful, but on this day I really seemed to be in a blue/purple mood n’est pas?  On the left is some hand dyed Twist of Fate lace weight 100% virgin wool.  I was wondering (agonizing) what to do with the two left skeins, when I remembered Miriam’s Lune design.  Viola! 

With the warmer weather, Mr. J went through a package of popsicles in a few days, therefore I got my families old Tupperware popsicle makers out.  I’m not sure how old these are, but older than I am.  I distinctly remember eating multiple popsicles made out of pink lemonade in the Ontario heatwaves.  We made limeade popsicles, and went through the lot in a few days.  These are definitely the best heatbusters around.  Too bad its gotten cold again, but the weekends have been lovely!