Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The New Jumper

Here's the thing, I am mostly a Jill of all trades as opposed to a Mistress of one. I do a lot of different seemingly opposing work, extra-curriculars and arts. Most of them slowly. One of the many reasons I love knitting is that it is paced labour. There is a natural cadence to it - it's uncomfortable for a knitter to change their cadence on purpose - speed, at least in my case, is gained through knitting a lot.

Over the past 10 years I've come to terms with the fact that I am not one of those quick thinkers - comebacks always come to me 4 days after stewing and brooding, my snap decisions are super flawed and my first impressions of people are more often than not way off base.

That doesn't mean I'm not reactionary -  I flare up with the best of them. I've toned down the instinct I have to speak without breathing but it is an ongoing practise and even when I take pause I am such a committed extravert that you will feel the heat of my restraint.

Knitting has been a great way to make me concentrate on slowing my shit down, commit to a long haul and let myself settle in without being still if that makes any sense.  Once in awhile it even ends up in a useable garment.

Mostly, I'm in it for the process. This last time it worked out well. Fenner asked for a sweater just like the one from a sweet book we like by Oliver Jeffers called The New Jumper. It took almost 18 months but I did it. Literary knits yo. Of my own basic design.

I'm proud and Fenner loves it. For the win.




 
Fenner doing her best Huey impression with attitude. Looking a little bit older than I remember when taking this picture.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Break Small Town Canada Style

Nothing makes me feel more like the quintessential Canadian family that we are like visiting our family in the Ottawa Valley and the Gatineaus.

Usually this is our annual Sugarbush excursion. Jason's lovely folks have a camp with a pretty big property full of trees to tap.  This year, Fenner is big enough to actually participate in the whole process..too bad the weather decided not to play nice. We lost a day of travel to the snow storm so I had to work the day after we arrived but that didn't stop my people from heading to the bush.

I tried hard to be mature but the envy ate at me as I worked in the coffee joint.

We spent the weekend playing crokinole in the evenings; knitting and hanging out during the day. As though Sugarbush and Crokinole didn't make us Canadian enough Steve kicked it up a notch by introducing us to the family Winchester 1894. 

Which was crazy. It led to us doing some high level research into what it would take for us to legally own this gun - 3 months, 2 references, a mental health check and a spousal interview (so I would get the chance to say that Jason should/should not get to have a gun and, perhaps more importantly, vice versa)

This is one of the many reasons I believe in my heart that school shootings are still uncommon enough in urban centres as to be shocking in Canada.

After getting spoiled rotten at Jason's folks' place we headed to Wakefield for our annual haul the kids through hike through the Gatineaus with our good friends and former neighbours The Vanderbergers

This Gatineau leg of the journey means a lot of inappropriate laughing, too much wine and Dieu du Ciel beer while the girls run amok like the playmates they are.


But for the lack of sap it was the perfect perfect weekend.











Saturday, March 08, 2014

Head for the Hills!

Riddle me this my sweet baby cherubs; how is it March and I have a dozen shitty first drafts in my post folder and nothing published?!

It's been such a busy 'First Quarter' that we only got out to our cottage mid-February for the first time. My sisters gave us the amazing gift of organizing a weekend of maintenance and fun in the snow. It was a real treat just to be able to show up and have fun without all the prep and ground work laying.  We could only go up for a night and a day and it was worth every ounce of energy output.

We hiked in on the road so Fenner could warm up to her snowshoes again. Silly me. There was no warm up required, I am so stoked that she was a total pro.  They were unnecessary on the road unless one was interested in intrepid expoloration...which of course, one was...

  



The goal of the weekend was to take down a beaver eaten tree while the lake was still frozen.  We're rookies at this so it was a bit...fumbled, but down she came with a ton of learning experience to build on. My sister Charlotte and Brother in Law Pat quarterbacked the whole adventure and really saved the day on this. Their stick-to-itivenss was a sight to behold.
We checked in our little shack holding up under the weight of this winter - it was good to see her. Makes me itch for the heat of summer even though I found my snow love while we were up there.

 
I was doing stand up that night so when it was time to go we decided to take the lake route which is much faster (not to mention flat.) This is my favourite part of the cottage in the winter. It is so trippy to be walking routes that we swim, canoe and boat all summer long.

I'm so stoked for next year when the girls are going to be big enough to cope with a full weekend of winter love.