Off line & off grid in the Yukon

Have we been here nearly a month already? Hard to believe!

This morning I’m sitting up in bed at my in-law’s house in Carcross where we spent the night after celebrating Mr. C’s birthday. Happy Birthday, my beloved!

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We’ll get back to the cabin sometime this afternoon, not too late. So far, my trips to town have been few and far between. And thats okay. Town trips are mainly to run errands and grab a few minutes of internet. I mean it about the few minutes, too…only one hour per day is allowed at the library.  And so, I haven’t opened Facebook in a couple of weeks, nor answered very many email notes. My online life totally neglected at the moment, but honestly, not really missed.

 

imageI’ve been writing (almost) every day for a couple of hours. I’m thick in the middle of novel rewrites. I’ve also been doing a lot of critiquing & beta reading for the writing groups I belong to. I feel as though the learning curve has steepened again, and it’s really wonderful. Writing is something of an emotional roller coaster … One thing I can say, now, is that I’m finally starting to feel like a writer. If that makes any sense. Maybe someday I’ll also be an author, lol!

imageI’ve also been out on the deck nearly every day doing an hour of yoga in the sunshine. And managing to keep up with the Splendid Sampler quilt blocks, for the most part, too. Now that’s a miracle, to be sure!

imageDont be shy…drop on by. There’s beer in the fridge and the kettle’s always on! Thanks to Bill and Heather for the visit the other day and these wonderful photos.

 

Posted in Cabin, Fox Lake, Summer, Vacation, Whitehorse, Yukon | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

They came, he barked, they went away

I’m sitting out on the deck this morning with my coffee, where it’s warm in the sun but still cool in the shade.

Sam is sitting out on the dock looking serene and peaceful, sniffing the breeze, watching the fish jump and keeping an eye on the boat launch in the campground next door.

 

This is what he wants me to think, anyway. What he’s really doing is lying in wait for unsuspecting canoeists and kayakers to glide by.

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When he sees them coming, he’ll lay down on his belly like a cat in the grass, and when he judges the time just right, up he’ll leap in a frenzy of barking. “Oh, look, a puppy,” the paddlers always say, unfazed. But Sam is never disappointed.

As they continue on their way, he sits back down, content, his mission successfully completed.

Posted in Cabin, Fox Lake, outdoors, Samson, Whitehorse, Yukon | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Yukon Light at Night

At 11:00 at night…
in early June…
it looks like this at Fox Lake:

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11 pm

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11pm

Can you hear the frogs and crickets?

Posted in Blog Categories | 10 Comments

Following the Lilacs North

The Collins’ are back in the Land of the Midnight Sun!

This year I brought a knitting project with me to keep my hands occupied when it wasn’t my turn to drive…quite a feat with this guy on my lap.

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Four days later:

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Last year we followed the unfurling leaves north, but this year we left a couple of weeks later, and so it was the lilacs we followed. Back home in Salmon Arm the lilacs were long finished, but by the time we got to Smithers, two easy days of driving, they were in full glory and I got to enjoy them again. Now, here in Whitehorse, the buds are all closed up tight.  I look forward to enjoying their sweet-spicy aroma for a third time at the end of June.

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We didn’t miss the arrival of the Yukon spring entirely, though…we got here just in time to see the last of the leaves unfurl on the shores of Fox Lake.

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Let the summer begin!

Posted in Blog Categories, Cabin, Fox Lake, Knitting, Summer, Vacation, Yukon | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Bento Box Quilt!

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a quilt finish to show off.

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My youngest nephew is graduating from high school next month, which I think warrants a quilt from Auntie Nita, don’t you think?My second-youngest nephew graduated this time last year, and he received a quilt, so fair is fair.

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Actually, I’d like to (before I die of extreme old age) make a quilt for all my nephews. All thirteen of them (wipes brow).

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For Ross, I chose the Bento Box pattern because it is modern and masculine. Now, let me tell you something about Ross. Unlike his Auntie, he is a big sports fan. He knows all about all the different teams and who plays what position and who coaches whom and who got traded where and why. All that stuff.

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Football, mostly (I think), but other sports, too. The Seattle Sea-hawks in particular, thus the colour choice of blues and greens.

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I have named this quilt The 12th Man, because when making this quilt, I learned that the 12th man is a term for the fan. Apparently in American football, only 11 players are allowed on the field at one time. The 12th team member is the fan. That would be Ross. 🙂

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The quilt measures a generous 86 x 61 inches which should be just great for a young man. It was machine quilted in organic wavy lines. When I was quilting it, I imagined each line of wavy stitching was a quarterback carrying the ball down the field, dodging right and left, weaving in and out.

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Many of the squares came from the We Bee Canadian Flickr group quilting bee that I belong to. Each quilter is assigned a month, and every month we make her the block of her choice. When it’s your turn, you get a pile of blocks in the mail…so much fun! For two rounds, I requested these bento box squares in blue & apple green batik. So the quilt was really a group effort, full of wishes for a bright future for Ross.

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Touchdown! Go Ross!

Posted in Blog Categories, Quilting, Quilts | Tagged | 7 Comments

A letter to my grade 8 Home Economics teacher

Dear Mrs. Rudd,

I hope this letter finds you well and still sewing.

You won’t remember me, but I was one of the fourteen-year-olds in your eight grade home economics class at Keithley Junior High in the fall of 1974. That was the year after girls were first allowed to wear dress slacks and pant suits to school instead of skirts and dresses. No jeans…those came a year or two later. That was also the first year that a boy was allowed to take home-economics and a girl was allowed to take shop.

14 years old

You taught me how to follow a recipe and plan a menu. I still have my recipe box from the cooking portion of the class.  It’s crammed to capacity now, full of 42 year’s worth of recipes, including cards in my mother’s and my grandmother’s handwriting.

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You taught me how to iron. And by the way, I am the only person I know who actually loves to iron. I will happily spend a Sunday listening to Cross Country Checkup on CBC radio while ironing everything in the house…cloth napkins, tea towels, pillow cases, every shirt my husband owns.

You taught me how to use a sewing machine and read a pattern. And for that alone, I will be forever grateful.

I remember that we had to choose a pattern and actually sew an item of clothing. My mother took me to the fabric store and we browsed the pattern books together. I decided on Butterick 4265. It was an ambitious project, and I remember my mother trying to talk me into something a bit more simple. You and my mother were both concerned because I was adamant that I didn’t want to sew an apron or a simple pajama bottom. But no…I wanted to sew a pant suit.

In the end, I agreed to just sew the top and leave the pants for later. It was my first ever attempt at sewing anything. Ever. Complete with set-in sleeves, patch pockets, top stitching and a zipper. I don’t think I actually wore it anywhere…I hadn’t done a very good job, really. But it didn’t matter to me…I was so proud of myself!

I remember my mother coming into the home-ec classroom for a parent/teacher conference. I remember how you discussed my completed project with my mother, your finger tracing a line along my uneven top-stitching as the two of you remarked with pride on how I had tackled and completed such a big project.

I also remember that I did not feel discouraged by your critique, which tells me that it was delivered in a careful and loving way, the way a valuable teaching experience should be.

You taught me that putting in a zipper properly and stitching a straight line were things that one can improve upon. Things that can be mastered.

What I learned went so far beyond learning to follow a recipe for a casserole, how to sew a patch pocket and balance a checkbook. No…what I took from your class was a fearless belief in myself.

I’d like to say that again: A Fearless Belief in Myself.

Thank you for that, Mrs. Rudd.

Now…that pant suit pattern. I was in the thrift store the other day and you’re not going to believe this, but staring up at me from the bin of patterns for .25 was the exact one that I made in your class.

And guess what…it’s in my current size. I might even sew it up for old time’s sake.

butterick pattern

I wanted to tell you that I have been thinking of you almost every day these past couple of weeks as I embark on re-learning those skills you introduced me to more than 40 years ago. I feel you leaning over my shoulder, your finger tracing the line of the zipper, reminding me to line up the notches, showing me how to tie off the threads at the end of a dart by hand.

When I think about the women who influenced me in my life, you’re up there in the top ten.

I know you’ll probably never read this letter, but I wanted to say thank you.

Mrs. Rudd, 1974.

Mrs. Rudd, 1974.

 

 

Posted in Blog Categories, letters, Memories, sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments