10463912_662697057133807_3219900268314432081_nAren’t those pretty socks and shoes?  The shoes are one of my first pairs of Fluevogs, purchased in May at their sale.  I have never received so much attention for my shoes before!!  I wore them out of the store, to a meeting, at which the secretary commented on them, on a flight to Fort McMurray, where all the flight attendants commented on them.  I bought them as they coordinate perfectly with a dress I have, they look crazy good together!

Now the socks are really special, I am just modeling them here, but my skein of yarn and the pattern are on their way soon.  We had a knitting party at the local Fluevog store!  It was a lot of fun.  I started to hear about other Fluevog stores having knitting parties when my boss and I went to Vancouver, I had just missed the party at the Granville Island store.  Of course when I got back I contacted the local Calgary store, and then Annie at The Loop to see about getting some yarn dyed in the Fluevog colours.  The local dyer, Two Birds Knits, really knocked the colourway out of the park.  It is a vibrant red with tiny stripes of blue and white.  The custom pattern has a tiny cable down one side.  I can’t wait to get mine.  I didn’t really organize the party and the yarn so much as instigate the whole thing.

The party itself was fun, and there are plans to repeat it in August.  As luck would have it the party was on the eve of the big summer sale, so we got to preview all the shoes on sale.  I have bought a few pairs recently, but luckily most of that is because my boss and husband have discovered I like these shoes, and have been giving me gift certificates.  Yeah for them!  I am telling my boss that the shoes are going to make us a lot of money, and will be totally worth the $$ in the end.  We all tried on shoes, and bought some, even though it is fine to come to the party and not buy any shoes at all.  The store has a beautiful museum space upstairs where we sat and knit for awhile and ate cupcakes.  Yum.

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Backyard BogganThis winter has been very hard on this winter and snow loving girl, I normally love snow and love winter.  Until February that is.  But this year I was so sick of it in December, and the main reason is the horrible driving conditions this year.  For most of December I was driving to work in blizzards, through multiple feet of snow, ice, accidents all around every day, and extra time to get to work, an hour extra some days.  All that time driving instead of working cuts into my paycheck, plus the stress on me.  I was exhausted at the end of December, and ready for a break.  Every day it seemed I would wake up to fresh snowstorms, and curse the snow.  Until we decided to build a big toboggan hill in the backyard for Fia’s birthday party.  We had so much snow I figured we could get a pretty good hill going, which we did, it has to be over ten feet down to the ground.  We actually dug down to the ground to make it go as low as possible, and then put a big curve into the bottom so that you swoosh around back the way you came.  The far side of the hill has steps cut into so that kids can climb up easily.  This was a huge hit with Fia, who loves to go down face first, which means she is a future skeleton racer!  We were so worried everything would melt too much before her party, that Mr. J and I were hoping for snow instead of dreading it!  The day of the party it was relatively warm, and the kids had a blast.  My nieces who are 8 and 11 have even been over twice to play on the hill.

Fia smilingWe even enjoyed it last weekend when it was -15 oC out!

Mango Shake!

I really do enjoy the Stampede, and Fia does as well.  My hubby went for the first time in years, and he enjoyed himself!  I was asked by an American recently if it was worth it to come up to see the Stampede, and after my enthusiastic endorsement he commented that I lit up and really came alive when describing all the fun things to do.  We keep it simple, and with the little miss’s nap schedule we only stayed until just after lunch.  Which worked out well as a massive thunderstorm hit while we were all asleep in bed!  Some random favorites:

-Fia loved the train ride on the LRT.  Every time we came to a stop she asked for “more” and once the train took off again she was so excited.  Our trip had around 10 stop, which was very, very exciting.

-The horses of course.  Fia patted big ones, little ones, medium ones, and all the in between ones.

-Miniature donkeys – patted those too!

-Cows – also patted.

-Sheep – ditto.  We didn’t get over to the pigs, but those would have been patted I’m sure.

-Mini-donuts, tower of potato chips, corn dog, pizza, steak on a bun, mango shakes, all consumed, but mostly by Mr. J.  He really enjoyed the fun food, I had a tummy ache after pizza and chips.  Fia loved the corn dog, which is good as she will probably only get one of these a year.

-I loved seeing all my friends get ribbons for their knitting.  Normally I would spend more time looking at all the art both professional and amateur, but we were on a bit of a time schedule this year.

There is way more to do here, I would have liked to get Fia down to see some traditional native dancing.  She would have loved the music.  I had hoped to go again, but then poof, it was over!  Next year she may be able to sit longer for some shows, she is going to love, love Super Dogs!!

Full of Busy

June 29, 2012

 We are just full of busy over here as the official two month summer in Calgary is finally getting going!!  AND the cold and rain that has been spring/summer so far is promising to be nice for a little while to come.  FINALLY.  That outfit the little cowgirl in training is wearing to the left: in June.  I have so many cute little outfits for her to wear, but it has been too cold.

What is happening?  Well, Canada Day, Mr. J’s birthday, Stampede, Tour de France, Olympics, a knitting retreat at a local ranch, August vacations.  Whew!  All that fun to come is making me tired already.  What has been better lately is my little Munchkin is going to sleep earlier, and without as much help from me.  It makes a huge difference in my quality of life to have her asleep at 7 pm, as opposed to 9 pm.  Things like knitting, cleaning, cooking, working, gardening, exercising, and blogging begin to happen again.  Mr. J was gone for two weeks, and I really, really had to just take the plunge and do some sleep training light, and she was more than ready for it as she has been falling asleep at daycare on her own for months now.  She has also been sleeping much better in the night, except when she has a cold that is, like now.

Like every year I’m excited for the Stampede, this year more so.  We’re going to see a bit of the parade (horses, cows, dogs, cars) and then head over to the grounds to check out the knitting displays, and as many animals as we can.  Althea is in a great stage right now of learning words and gets so excited when she sees something that she knows the name of, pointing and calling it out, it is going to be sooo much fun.  I have big plans to knit/sew her a dress, which I am going to get going on this weekend.  I’d like her to see some of the native dancing as well, the music, colours, and motions should delight my little dancer.  This kid dances to the toaster!

This week has been tough again, she has been a bit sick with mucky eyes, and snotty nose.  I stayed home and took her to the Doctor’s Tuesday, but then had to dump her at daycare and go to work every other day, and was gone all day long Monday.  We had a big bid due Friday, that I had to get finished.  Just dumping my sick baby at daycare, where she is cared for well, still makes me feel horrible, as it is me that she wants.  Putting work first can sometimes be a necessity, and I put her first most other times, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.  Let’s just hope we win this job huh?  And wish me luck with the sewing I’m planning on doing this weekend!  Three days with my family, no work, just heaven.

Once upon a time this blog featured many a photo from the mountains after my weekend biking trips.  Alas, not so much anymore but I did manage to get out for a ride to Banff last weekend.  It was wonderful, and the trail around Lake Minnawanka is all around excellent.  Technical, with not too much climbing for an out of shape Momma like myself.  We had some snow, tiny bit of rain, and beautiful, beautiful views.  I just missed out on seeing a mountain sheep run across the trail according to the lady behind me, or perhaps I just missed colliding with one?  We saw many deer, and no bears which is very good as this trail gets closed down for the summer due to the grizzly bear activity.

I miss doing bike rides like this, and yet the 1.5 hr drive out there, and the drive back killed me.  I really hated being away from Althea that long, especially since the weekend is precious to me now.  During the week I get little time with her, I hate using up the weekend without spending it with her.  I hope to do more weekend riding, but closer to home I think.

Our World

April 22, 2011

 Our world is still pretty snowy, with two major snowstorms in April so far.  However the snow is slowly melting, and flowers are starting to poke up!  This is the time of year when my friends in Utah are busy posting photos of their lovely flowers, and we are busy talking about how instead of four feet of snow in our yards, we’re down to 2!  I am excited that all the tulip, crocus, and daffodil bulbs I planted last fall are starting to come up, and we even have flowers in the back yard!  A cute fluffy hare was in the backyard this week, and I angrily glared at his cute fluffy tail, waiting for him to eat my flowers, but he has not (yet).  Good thing I don’t like rabbit, rabbit, ’cause if you eat my flowers, I may seriously consider threating you with the stew pot.  And when I say seriously consider, I mean it!  The hare is very brown now, not much white left, so they must know the snow days are numbered.  The temperature has been much mildly however, with days above freezing.  Althea and I have been getting out for daily walks, if we aren’t busy with other tasks.  She really loves the carrier now, lighting up with smiles when I get ready to put her into it.  She can even sit and look around quietly for a long time before falling asleep, which is a huge change from when she was just a month old – she had to be asleep or she would be screaming!  She can now also sit quietly in the car seat for awhile and look around before falling asleep.  She still screams at times, like when we stop at a red light, but it is  a huge difference from two months ago! 

As the weather warms up, and it’s getting easier to take Althea places, I hope we get out more to do more fun things in the city.  I’m enjoying thinking of all the places we will go for walks, new places we will explore.  And of course when it gets much, much nicer, and the foothills start to melt out, I hope we will be out there taking our walks in the woods. 

Althea got her first shots yesterday, and she was such a brave little girl.  She screamed pretty loudly for a minute, and then quietened right down.  Everyone is always very impressed by her lung power.  She is doing well so far, without any bad reactions other than crying whenever she wakes up, which just breaks your heart.  But it’s a lovely sunny day out there, if still a bit nippy, and once she wakes up from her nap, we’ll head out for our walk, and visit with some neighbours as many people have this day off.  Many cuddles are planned for the baby, which always makes her feel better, and us better as well.

Off we go to the Sheep Farm

October 25, 2010

About an hour north of Calgary is Pasu Farms, a lovely little spot that is restaurant, sheep, geese, alpaca, chicken farm with some friendly dogs and a cat thrown in for good measure.  The sign warned us not to pet the animals, they might bite, but these dogs and cats were anything but!  Sucky pat lovers would be more like it, rolling over in a shameless way to expose their bellies (the dog not the cat of course).   Lunch was highlighted by apple pie, and ice cream which was pretty fabulous.  We took the opportunity to take some 26.5 week photos:

The white dots in the background are the sheep, who were shy.  I’m very glad I have a good supply of sweaters made in the 80’s and 90’s, with their generous sizing!  This sweater I made in about 1997-1998, before I had really figured out how to measure, block, or even make a gauge swatch.  Its huge!  I still love it however, with its 19 colours of Rowan wool, the original pattern is in an Alice Starmore book.  I kept wondering why I was running out of yarn and having to get more!  I still do wear it, and its warm and cozy on days like today, and now it still fits me!  Its probably going to fit up until the end of the pregnancy. 

And of course, there really were sheep:

This studly boy was being kept separate from the ladies until its time for him to have his fun!

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!

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!

Drawing Boxes

June 13, 2010

The tools of my trade, my pencil, ruler, and stencil.  Back in my very first year of engineering school we had to buy this drawing kit, and learn to make boxes, lines, arrows, which were process flow diagrams.  I still love to sit down and draw my little box membrane systems, round pumps, rectangular tanks.  I’m not very good at Autocad, so this is so much easier for me.  One day I’ll get better, but since at the new job we’ve got a super fast Auto cad guru that can draw everything up for me in 1/20th the time it would take me, there isn’t much point right now.  Then I can get out my favorite red pen and mark up the drawings.  Chemicals engineers tend to think about processes often, and we love breaking those things down into boxes, squares, lines, arrows.  We just have to remember that not everyone gets so excited about them as we do. 

This past week in Calgary was the Global Petroleum show, which rotates every few years between here and Houston.  I didn’t get to go last time it was here, as I was out of town for another conference.  The weather was horrendous, rainy and cold, I was feeling pretty sorry for all those Texans having to suffer through it.  I bet they all flew up here with their company polo shirts, and had to run out and buy jackets.  I felt really sorry for all my old co-workers as well who had to stand outside for 3 days under a tent in the freezing rain all day long.  If I hadn’t of changed jobs I would have joined them!  Shudder.  As it was I just got to visit, with two of my new co-workers and my brother.  We had a good time climbing up on oil rigs, looking at the cut away engines, and other equipment.  There were so many huge toys there, it was incredible!  I’m glad we were there early, after 11 am all the beer came out, but the rain also came out as well.  We went inside and wandered around looking at more things, like flowmeters, pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters, filters, the competition.  You know, lots of fun stuff! 

Believe it or not however, I did find some sheep!  Poor little sheep that were about to be chased around the rodeo ring.  Perhaps by some of the miniature horses that showed up later?