A couple of weeks ago . . . and more . . .

Well, I meant to publish this a week or so back, but here goes anyway . . .

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The first time the Crafties took me to see their new property, back when the weather was still balmy, we stopped by the home of their daughter, son-in-law and their family. Here are a few pictures from that part of the trip:

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Below, some photos along the way to the Crafties’ property and some of the property itself:

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Afterwards, we drove to Thorhild, which is where my Mum and Dad were living in 1999, when I came up to help out while Dad was ill. I wanted to see the house we lived in and see if anything remained of my parents’ work on it. The lovely window boxes are gone, but the stained glass window upstairs at the back is still there. Originally there was a door leading to a very rickety wee balcony with equally rickety stairs down to the ground. Dad removed the balcony and stairs, then made a stained glass window to fill up the opening instead of the door. Behind that window is the room I stayed in while we were there. After my Dad passed away in September, Mum and I stayed on, resting and recuperating, until she sold the house the following spring and we moved into Edmonton to live in a rented house for a year. It was good to see the place again. I wish it were in Edmonton and we could have stayed in it . . . it had enough room for both of us and our various supplies and room for crafting, too, which is what my parents did when they weren’t renovating.

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Well, that was then . . . and the weather was still warm and balmy;

The container was finally delivered on Monday, the 10th of November, but it wasn’t unloaded where we had planned. The driver and his helper told the Crafties that it was there (by the side of the driveway and only a few feet past the gate) or they would take it back to the yard and I would have to pay for that trip, too. Not much they could do. But, without telling me, Mrs. Crafty called her son and son-in-law (from the place with the donkey, etc.) and the two guys came out on Thursday with their four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and some military strapping. It apparently took a few hours and involved cutting logs to use as rollers under the container, but in the end, they got the job done. As my friends told me later, it didn’t hurt that the two young men are fairly competitive by nature and were determined to get the job done. Unfortunately, no one thought to take photos, so I can’t share the experience with you. Wish I had some, though . . .

On Thursday morning, I found out that Mum and my sister were no longer looking at houses, as all the affordable ones needed quite a lot of work and in some cases had mould and other serious problems. So now it was to be a condo . . . which meant instant re-arranging of plans for me, as now I was going to be taking as much as possible from the apartment where we live, as well as emptying out the storage downtown. So Thursday passed in a blur of bringing in a few boxes from the balcony, removing the protective plastic bags, then quickly sorting through in case there was something I really wanted to keep in town. It had to be done in stages to keep the cold from freezing the apartment too much. But I got quite a lot of it done. Not as much as I would have liked. By the end of the day, my left knee was acting up again from stepping over the high threshold and packing heavy boxes, so I dug out the elastic knee brace and put it on again. It kept me awake until after midnight, but that was alright; it gave me time to unwind a bit and to just breathe . . .

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The last bud on the Happy Hibiscus; it never opened, though. When we were getting ready for the ceiling re-do that never happened, it just quit opening. By the time I had all the plants in the bathtub for over a week, this wee bud just dried up and withered away. Next year, though. Since then, I’ve pruned the Happy Hibiscus back quite a bit and re-potted all the plants except Mum’s newest bonsai, which didn’t need it yet.

On Friday the 14th, I woke at 4:30 a.m. to see a strange greyness outside; it looked as though it were snowing heavily, although no snow had been forecast. As it turned out, it was fog, amazingly lovely. The temperature was about -21C and felt like -29C with the wind chill. Not my preferred moving weather. I was picked up by the Crafties at 7:30 and we went straight to the U-Haul place to get the truck. From there, we drove to their son’s place, where the son-in-law met us. Then it was off to the storage place, where one unit was emptied and another one’s contents were reduced by a significant amount. That second one holds some of Mum’s things, too, so those as well as my clay  pots and collapsible tables, were left behind.

From the storage, we headed up 97th Street to Mum’s place, the Crafty son driving the truck and the Crafties and I in their car. The son-in-law drove his own car, as they had to leave as soon as the unloading was completed. Did I mention that he had his sweet son, Master Z, with him? All ready for the cold with his wee Carhartt jacket and mini work boots. He didn’t mind the cold (his jacket was open the whole time; he did have on a fleece and more underneath) and did his best to help the whole time. Very impressive.

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Above are a few of the photos I took on the drive north. It was very magical to see the fog-rime on the bare trees and snow still on many of the evergreens. I took so many pictures, my phone died while we were out there. Some of them will make good studies for pen and ink drawings with just a hint of watercolour to liven them up, should I ever have time and space for art again . . .

By the time the Crafties and I arrived at the property, the U-Haul was backed up to the container’s open doors, the ramp was out and the back wall was stacked with boxes. From there we switched to stacking the boxes one layer deep along each side of the container. Next summer, I will go out for a day or maybe two at a time and start the long process of going through everything and disposing of most of it. I so wish that I lived close enough to you who inhabit this Virtual Village with me, so that I could share with you all. But, postage being what it is, photographs will have to do . . .

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From the property, the son-in-law and his son left for home, and the rest of us returned to Edmonton. I rode along with the Crafty son in the truck, for old time’s sake. I always loved driving the big U-Hauls, but my eyesight isn’t what it once was and I’m reluctant to drive until that’s fixed one day. Without asking me, the Crafties stopped and picked up sandwiches for our lunch at their son’s place. That done, we took the truck to re-fill the gas tank. In well over two hours of driving, we only used a half tank of gas, so that was pretty good. Just over $100 with the discount from Mr. Crafty’s card. Then we took the truck back and from there drove back to the Crafty home, arriving about 3:30 p.m., well before dark. The whole task, from loading the truck to being done with the unloading, took only just over two hours, plus the hour or so drive north. I was pretty impressed. By myself, or even with only the Crafties and me, it would have been more than twice that. In that cold, it would have been pretty arduous.

Did I mention that before we were done moving the boxes, it had begun to snow? Yep. Luckily, it was that fine, grainy stuff that doesn’t stick to anything. But I had to brush  it off the items like paintings that were stacked at the front of the moving van waiting to be shifted. We were so, so lucky, in spite of the cold. and it made the hot Chinese food at the end of the day so delicious . . .

The following Friday, Mum placed an offer on a ground-floor condo and it was accepted. Much rejoicing around here! Then, a few days later, the owners changed their minds. So back to searching. Mum has an offer in on another condo now, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I liked the idea of the first place because it was about three blocks from a large mall, on the grocery store side and that mall has a small branch of the library. Also the bus stops at the back of the mall include ones for buses going downtown, which would have been pretty convenient for me. Oh, well, this or something better, as they say . . .

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That’s right, my friends! I have not been idle! These are the Bavarians for my grandkidlets . . . The dark rose for the eldest of the three youngest girls, the medium rose for the next youngest and the pale rose for the wee girl born this past September.

The lighter green-blue is for the younger of the two boys and the darker one (nearly finished; I have four rows and the edging still to do) is for the elder boy.

I have two others for that family still to finish; one more multi-coloured for the eldest grand-daughter, who is now 15 and a half and a large one, also multi-coloured, for their parents. Oh, yes, and the Violets in the Snow afghan still needs a few more rows . . . and then there are two young lads and a wee lassie that I have in mind . . .

These go surprisingly fast, at least when you have up to six hours a day to sit and do nothing but crochet 🙂  These child-size afghans take two balls each of Red Heart acrylic (more washable); one of white and one of a colour. I’m not sure how many balls I’ve used on the two large afghans. And the small ones I can do in two weeks, most of the work in the first week. I truly love this pattern and I can’t thank Dani of the Teddy and Tottie blog enough. If I ever get to meet her, Dani will be showered with hugs and chocolate and maybe wine . . . 🙂

Ok, there’s more, but I have to leave something for another day, don’t I?

Hugs to everyone in the Virtual Village . . . and comments will be replied to soon. I apologize for not keeping up, but it’s been a tad busy around here . . . and I haven’t dropped in on as many of you as I like to do, or left comments when I did come by.

I’m so looking forward to life just settling down and living in ‘Normal’ again . . . (thanks, Robbie, for letting me know there’s an actual town named Normal. I may have to emigrate . . .)

I nearly forgot . . . here’s a song for anyone who shares some of my musical tastes:

Grey, Foggy Day  Shanneygannock are a group from Newfoundland and I love their work. A co-worker who grew up with a couple of the members introduced me to their music. Folkie, but you know me . . .

And another Canadian group, sadly no longer recording together: Kashtin. I was lucky to see  them close up and for free when the Commonwealth Games came to Victoria (BC) back in 1994. They were playing on a stage set up in front of the Empress Hotel and I managed to work my way right up near the front. Unforgettable!

Kashtin Innu

One  of my all-time favourite groups. They were fantastic; playing everything from huge halls to small bush camps. I still listen to them often.

CWGames 94 - logo

There were performers from all over the world and I got to meet quite a few of them, including an Aborigine from Australia who showed me his didgeridoo and let me hold it. I was so in awe of all these talented people; since I was just an untalented volunteer.

CWGames 94 - two headed serpent

I’m under there, somewhere . . . this is a First Nation (Haida, I think) Double-Headed Serpent from the opening ceremony.

CWGames 94 - Queen and Prince Philip

I was in the closing ceremony, too, wearing a huge foam hand costume, performing a square dance. I can’t find a photo of that, but afterwards, we were lined up along the track and I got to see the Queen and Prince Philip a bit closer than this as they left. I was so lucky!

And, like Columbo, I have “One last thing” . . .

If you want something sweet to make for Christmas and don’t have much time, try these fabulous felted slippers from Eclectic Home & Life. I haven’t gotten far with the pair I want to make for my Aunty and now I know why . . . now to find some real wool yarn. ❤

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11 thoughts on “A couple of weeks ago . . . and more . . .

  1. Wow Linne what a post! Your friends the Crafty’s are a kind hearted pair aren’t they. I don’t know how you can accept an offer and then change your mind? In Australia, once an offer is accepted then that is that, no turning back for either party. I keep my fingers crossed that something as good or better comes along. Your mum’s old place looked lovely, why did she move? I love the barn on the Crafty’s property. The bavarians are amazing, how busy you have been eh. Take care and good luck with the search for new digs x

    • Yes, Kym, I’ve been very lucky to have friends like them. I help them when I can, but it’s been more the other way for quite some time now.

      I don’t get the ‘changed our minds’ thing, either. But I gather it’s fairly common here, as sellers will take a higher offer if it comes along after they accept something lower. I like your way better.

      Mum and my sister did finally find a condo and the offer is complete now. We’ll be moving in January sometime. The house in Thorhild was lovely, but with Dad gone, there wasn’t much reason for Mum to stay there. So we moved into Edmonton to be closer to my sister. We rented for a year, then Mum bought a house that we lived in for about six years. When that was sold, we moved to this old apartment building that had been turned into condos. I had a huge flood in my second floor suite (from a suite above me on the fifth floor), so was staying at Mum’s; then I lost my job, so gave up the suite (it ended up taking from mid-January when the flood happened to late September for the repairs to be completed, so just as well, really) and stayed with Mum permanently so I could be near both her and my Aunty.

      Not sure which barn you are referring to, Kym. A couple of the photos were taken along the journey. But there is a barn on the Crafty daughter’s place and also that long, low barn. I would steal it if that were possible. It’s open all the way down. I would wall off the front third for a cottage and then convert the back two-thirds for a workshop / studio space. Ah, the fun of dreaming . . . in actual fact, I’d likely be dead of old age before that project was finished . . . but the dream warms my heart. ❤

      I love those Bavarians. I've never made so many of one pattern in my life, and I still love it. I'm saving all the yarn ends towards something for me; that will be full of memories and I will treasure it immensely.

      Thanks for the good wishes and now we just need to get done with the move . . . and helping my Aunty adjust to the change . . . that's gonna take some thinking!

  2. My mum spent an inordinate amount of time when she was here, making us slow down and stop so that she could take pictures of road signs. That picture of your traffic lights made me laugh remembering that. Your roads terrify me…YOU ARE DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE! ;). I adore the conifers Linne, I am green with envy at the beauty of your forests and trees and how gorgeous that snow looks. What an amazing and beautiful selection of images of snow and the countryside. Thank you for sharing them :). That HUGE alpaca looks like the Push-me-pull-you out of Doctor Doolittle! Big wide expanses of field and enormous blue skies are “the country” personified the world over :). That big barn is scrumptious! That stained glass window is lovely Linne. It’s always bittersweet revisiting places that you have lived at in the past. When mum died, I asked my sister to drive me around the places that Steve and the kids and I had lived when we lived in Albany Western Australia. Memories rise up to meet you but you know it isn’t “your” place any more as there are other people’s things there. A good reminder that wherever we lay our hats, THAT’S our home :). The hibiscus was telling you something. Sometimes those flowers need to be dropped, all of that extra energy needs to be put into reinvesting energy into the plant. It will grow and prosper and will be most happy in your new home but at the moment it is feeling the angst and the changes and has decided to lay low like Brer Rabbit methinks! ;).
    The Crafties are amazing friends Linne. I am wafting caring hugs their way. Could you tell them “thank you” from narf for caring for their friend? If you can’t say that (fair enough, I probably couldn’t either 😉 ) just waft those happy vibes in their direction, they will get them. Sort of like blown kisses but in this case “vibes” replace the kisses (we haven’t been introduced yet! “Blush” 😉 ).

    Gorgeousness on those Bavarians! I still haven’t even started one BUT I know how to do it now (looked up Youtube tutes) and so I am not scared of it any more ;). Stevie-boy and I have been watching a series of cooking shows around Scandinavia. I thought that Scandinavia was a country! I didn’t realise it was a conglomerate of Norway, Denmark and Sweden! Just goes to show how little we were taught about the rest of the world at school (or more importantly, how little I cared about paying attention in social studies 😉 ).

    I LOVE that pattern for the felted slippers! You just gave me a gorgeous gift there Linne. I am going to have to make some of these over the summer period (as it takes me THAT long to knit anything 😉 ) ready for our next winter time and my early morning visitations with the rest of the world. What a gorgeous pattern, nice and easy (did I mention that I am lazy too and can’t be bothered learning new stitches? 😉 ) and a perfect gift. The only negative thing that I can see is that you have to use real wool which costs an arm, a leg and several vital organs BUT I will go check out Spotlight in town as they usually sell off their expensive wool’s around about now as who wants to be knitting etc. in the middle of summer?! Their loss = my new pair of felted slippers! Look out family, guess what you are getting for gifts next year! 🙂 HUGE big hugs Linne. I feel like you have come out of the fog yourself and are just about to start out on a massively exciting and wonderful new life journey. All of that (pain in the butt) stuff from 2014 will be wiped from the slate with a nice new 2015 to replace it all and a new sense of peace, place and happiness. Here’s to 2015 and a plethora of (probably unfinished) felted slippers!

    Oops, my comment appears to be almost as long as your post…sorry about that, but I get excited :). I just wanted to share this with you as maybe you could use this idea and perhaps we could both come up with a way to make felted slippers on the cheap? I could see us both washing thrift shop sweaters (we call them jumpers…NO idea why but we do 😉 ) in hot water and making elf slippers with curly toes 🙂

    http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/gift-ideas-raw-recipies/cozy-gift-idea/

    • Narfie, I like that about your Mum. I once walked a horse over the Hope-Princeton highway and wanted to record it on film 9no digital back then 🙂 I took a photo, then walked to the farthest point in it and took the next one. Miles and miles of this! Imagine my disappointment when I had the films developed and saw they were mostly of “road in centre, with banks and forest on either side” . . . It’s a long step from the imagination to reality, eh? I bet your Mum would have laughed with me . . .

      I don’t know why we drive on the wrong side (actually, it’s the ‘right’ side, isn’t it? and you drive on the left. hahaha). I will never drive in Australia or England or Scotland or . . . at least not where there is any amount of traffic. I think I’d be ok in general, but in an emergency would revert to old habit . . .

      I love seeing other people’s countries, so thought the slideshows would be a good way to share a bit of ours. Wish I had photos from BC to share; BC has every sort of climate except tropical rainforest, so it’s endlessly fascinating.

      The alpaca does look like the Push-Me-Pull-You, doesn’t it? It’s not quite so large as it seems. Wish I could have gotten closer, but the wee kiddies were zooming about and the lama and the alpaca were a bit standoffish. The donkey, on the other hand, once given a treat, was so friendly. He followed me around and kept rubbing his head on me. I miss horses so much, so this was lovely for me.

      I’ll tell Mum you liked the window. It was the biggest Dad made. I hated leaving it behind . . .

      Revisiting – yes, very bittersweet at times. I go back to all the homes I can remember, but over the years some have been lost to us. Makes me so sad. I know all about the transitory nature of this life, but I’m a ‘connector’ with a high level of ‘input’ as they say, and while I love being emotionally connected to so much and so many, it can be hard at times, too. Sometimes I envy those who can just walk away and never look back. I know what you mean about ‘where we lay our hats’, but I seem to struggle with that at times.

      I thanked the Crafties for you and gave them a hug, too.

      I LOVE the Bavarians!! I’m looking forward to when you start yours. Having put in all that time on washable acrylics, but now working with real wool on the slippers, I’d have to say that if you can find a sheep or two,, real wool is the best ever! Maybe you need a quick trip to Alice or the outback somewhere . . .

      Ok, you made me laugh with that bit about Scandinavia! But you better include Finland and Iceland, too, eh? My Mum’s parents were born in Norway, so I feel especially connected to that country, but I have dear friends who were born in Finland and they are pretty amazing. And then there’s Carl Larsson (1853 – 1919) and his wife; he painted and she designed and wove fabrics (they both did a lot more, too. If you are interested, start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Larsson – so the Swedes are important to me, too. One of my brothers-in-law has Danish roots, so we call him the ‘Great Dane’ 🙂

      Those slippers are working out well; I accidently bought two balls of ‘chunky’ when I thought I was buying ‘roving (less spun) and those are definitely harder to the touch. If you have a choice, the ‘roving’ is lovely. But I think you have to adjust the pattern. I’ll let you know once the felting is done. I still want to make wire stretchers for inside them so they don’t shrink too much. And with the worsted weight, I’m thinking my knitting machine may be the answer; it would speed things up a lot, as I’d only have to hand-knit the decrease rows at the toe. We’ll see.

      Thanks for the hugs and good wishes, Narfie; I’ll be glad when things settle down, but things never do seem to stay that way, do they?

      No worries about the comment length; I’ve left you a few doozies, haven’t I? karma and all that . . . 😉

      I don’t know what to say about that linkie . . . seriously . . . you thought I needed another habit? I’m not enough of a craft junkie for you? what?????
      Ok, I admit it, I loved that piece and already have ideas floating through my wee brain. If you have leftovers of wool yarn, you could wrapt them around a jar, then handwash in hot water and soap, alternating with dips into cold water. Add some judicious rubbing (do wear good rubber gloves, my friend) and you will have one-of-a-kind felted cozies . . . just sayin’

      I love English words and use them often, partly to honour my sons’ Granny, whom I loved dearly and still miss, even though we rarely saw each other for many years. She was a most wonderful woman. But I grew up with ‘jumper’ being more like a girls’ school uniform, the sort with the pleated skirt and top one-piece, worn over a white blouse. I still like that look.

      I think you have a brilliant idea there, Narfie! Felted sweaters, cut to make curly toe elf boots!!! Those would be so, SO cute!!! Wish I had more thyme in my wee inner garden . . . thanks for all the enthusiasm, my friend; most welcome anytime. 😉

  3. Hi Linne, good to see how you are getting on because I have been wondering – not much time to reply though as I am heading out for a training day two hours away. Sorry to read the search for a place is on/off/on still, it must be very stressful but hopefully a resolution soon. The home your parents used to have looks nice. All that dismal grey weather does not look nice, I feel sorry for you with us heading into summer. Take care Linne xxx

    • Mum and my sister did finally find a place and the deal is done! We move in January. I just hope it isn’t snowing or -30C or, even worse, -40C . . . nope, not thinking of that, just having warm, warm thoughts . . . 😉

      That old house was perfect, even for three of us. I miss it and wish we could have magically transported it to somewhere here . . . I could use some of your summer; the weather here has been unseasonably warm again, with lots of melting and now the ruts are iced over and tricky to navigate at night; I went across the road for milk after dark today and won’t be doing that again . . . I love that you and the rest of the gang share your springs and summers with us all. One of the best things about the Virtual Village is how easy it is to live vicariously. I suppose that makes me ‘weird’, but oh, well . . . Hugs to you, Wendy. Have fun in your garden and doing all your ‘putting up’. Wish I could pop by and give you a hand once in a while. xoxoxoxoxox

      • Oh that is great Linne! A big job ahead of you now but once settled you will be able to just SETTLE, no landlord dramas. It will be so good for you both.
        I understand that statement, I like to see others experiencing summer while we are going through winter, it reminds me everything is temporary and it will be here again soon enough 🙂 xxx

      • Thanks, Wendy. I hope we will be able to settle, too. With condos, though, especially older condos, there are always dramas. And rules about everything. Oh, well . . .

        Hope you have sun for the garden but not too much heat. I’ve been following those fires in Aussie and the temps are horrific; maybe it’s not so bad if you grow up with it, but still . . . I would have to have a long siesta every afternoon. 🙂

      • We have been having siestas, I fizzle with the heat. The fires are not far from my sister in law and she is with St Johns as well so I imagine living a bit on her nerves right now.

        I hope things will be ok for you there, a stand alone house would’ve been much nicer ay but things are what they are I guess. I hope few dramas, who can be bothered!

  4. I didn’t say, but the children-sized afghans are all made with a white centre, then six rows of colour and then white, with a simple edging made with the colour. I think they are about four feet across; I’ll have to measure one and let you know. Simple and so, so easy! If you start one and need help, ask me. Or Dani will help. There are others, too, who have made a Bavarian or two . . . Pauline, the Contented Crafter, is one. And now I’ve been looking at the lovely afghans on the Attic24 blog . . . maybe I will simply make afghans forever . . . 😉

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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