Category Archives: Life: lived

First Snow!

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I took this picture as soon as there was enough to stick, but it got far thicker later!

The first snow today is dramatic and picturesque.  Giant wet flakes emerging from rain and then thickening to make a lasting blanket.  The ground snow was slushy in places but boldly showed footprints and demanded toques and boots.

The school playground was crowded with big dirty rolled snowballs after recess.  A perfect, and decisive, first snow!

Nostalgia proof

Does it ever need a paint job!

I have no nostalgia at all.  I can’t even vividly remember the house now.  Everyone asks constantly, do you miss it?  I miss the neighbours, but not having a house, oh no.  I’m deeply enjoying the reprieve from having every month pivot on the day the mortgage is due.  Lots of people get rigid, cramped expressions on their faces when I grin and announce I’m living out of a Boler parked in a friend’s backyard, but I’m thrilled to be living exactly within my unemployed means.  It feels so much healthier than that big house.

The lap of luxury is at the end of an extension cord in my little bubble, with an electric heater, two propane burners and a fridge.  All one could need, only in miniature.  Continue reading Nostalgia proof

I learned something about rag rugs.

I learned something about rag rugs.  They take a long time to do.
And smaller is not better.

I cut all of the first strips about a half inch wide.  I was surprised at how long the strip-cutting took, too, as I patiently worked beside the fire pit cutting long continuous strips out of my rag bag.  The braiding was the fastest step of all, and very satisfying- somehow even the ugliest fabric looks really cool braided against complementary colours.  However, all the work I did to make the strips long and continuous was pointless, because long strips just tangle and fray the more they’re handled.  Short workable strips worked in are the way to go.  And then, the sewing.  That’s where I really learned to start wide at the very beginning.   The tinier the little braids are, the more sewing there is.  I hand-whipped the braid all together in a back and forth rectangle.  The end result is beautiful, but small and not very thick.  It would actually make a really pretty placemat.  My second rug was more respectable, but it could be thicker again.

Tips for rag rugs- start large.  A good two or three inches wide for the rag strips at the beginning would make a respectable gauge of braid.  Always keep one of the strands under two feet long during braiding.  And whip tight.  The braids have lots of flex in them and stretch out to shape nicely.

Phew

Survived the move.  The last couple days of moving were terribly hard, and the two after driving away passed in a daze of aftershock.  An awful lot to do in the days after, so I couldn’t just collapse into a three day nap, although life is much simpler in a 14’ camper.

Two days left to move.

Did a tiny batch of canning today with the last hours of stove ownership.  Gorgeously blood red plums and some pears, although found peeling the green pears terribly tedious.

Kevin showed her first signs of alarm when the fridge left.  I got the WTF meows and tail-twitching suspicious staring at the place where the fridge was.  I was surprised at this.  Whole house has been in furious uproar for weeks and whole rooms are totally emptied.  Even her favorite recliner got taken away, but no, it’s the fridge’s disappearance that gets noticed.  She doesn’t even get fed out of it.  She just sits in front of the door and gets whacked with it several times a day.

And so: a moment of humour.  I didn’t do it!  I just walked in and saw this and tried to get the picture before I died laughing.  She’s still sound asleep in the After picture.

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After.
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Before.

Organization glory

How daunting, overwhelming, and energetically crushing is the sight of a jumbled heap of “stuff” that is patently un-useful unless it is united with others of its kind (loaded bobbins, batteries, etc).  For instance, I never think, “I really need a blue Sharpie.  I’m gonna look in that shoebox of half-finished sudokus, mixed tapes, and not-quite-empty vitamin bottles that’s in the back of the closet.”   No, I’m gonna look in the box of office supplies, and if the blue Sharpie hasn’t found its multi-coloured cousins there, it’s SOL.

Packing continues.

This means, hauling out those dusty embarrassing boxes of junk compilations that provoke soul-searching questions like “What was wrong with me that I sheltered this in my valuable mortgaged home for years?” and returning the pens that still work, the profligate hair elastics, and the errant sewing notions to their proper locations.

And that, it turns out, is shockingly satisfying.  Continue reading Organization glory

Knee surgery

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This blackberry climbs the house with determination EVERY year. Even though it’s beautiful, I think it might damage the roof. Each spring and fall, we rip it all down, redirect it over its approved trellis, but no. The roof is the place to be.

Personally I’m sick to death of the saga of my knee, three major surgeries and a couple minors later, but anyways, an update.

Recovery from this, most major invasion, in which surgeon addressed about 5 different malfunctioning aspects of my damaged joint, is very, very slow.

Upsides: previously unimagined hours spent online, sleep requirements upwards of 12 hours/day, getting waited on and told to stay still.  Downsides: dizziness rising from prolonged inactivity, loss of muscle tone, and limited activity, to say the least.

I feel like I’m melting away, getting so small, but fitting my tiniest clothes is a small consolation for no longer being able to protect myself from a hummingbird.

I can do almost no strengthening yet bc of trauma and swelling, and this last week it’s developed a very alarming new locking-randomly-with-pain-when-attempt-straightening feature.  Not a meniscus thing, but a strange new tissue/muscle thing (I can tell these things by now).  So the hot, heavy foam brace is back on and I stump around like Quasimoto and can be quite effective.  For about four hours.

Unfortunately, this recovery coincides with harvest, summertime, and a moving deadline.  The vacancy date looms, but  it looks like we’ll manage.

My brush with furred fame

Leaning on a driftwood log as I sit on the rocks in a small cove of ocean-coloured Lake Minnewanka.  There’s a hell of a breeze and the sun has already dropped below the mountains, so I’m a little cold, barelegged, but I have my hoodie.  There’s a wader minding his own business ankle deep in the water’s edge, and I just got circled twice by a suspicious ground squirrel at close range- plump and bouncy with his racing stripe and black-eyed stare. Continue reading My brush with furred fame