Boxing Day: Walking in a Winter Wonderland

We went for a lovely walk this afternoon up to Margaret Falls in Harold Park. I put a few bits and pieces of film together to create my first One Shuswap Minute for you.

(If you’re viewing on your phone or other device you’ll need to visit the actual website to see the video.)

I started making these a year or so ago, calling them “One Yukon Minute.” They are meant to give you one minute to breathe and relax as you watch. Just one minute. What a gift to give to yourself during a hectic day. Plus, you also get to see a bit of what surrounds me. ♥

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Little Sister: A Quilt Finish!

You’ve seen glimpses of this quilt over the last couple of years as I worked on the hand quilting.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

“Little Sister”. Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

The pattern is called “Chinese Coins” or “Stacked Coins”, whichever you prefer. I made it for my sister, Heidi, and named the quilt “Little Sister”.

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Her favourite colour is purple ♥

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

The last few months I was working pretty fast because I wanted to have it finished before I left Whitehorse at the end of November.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I don’t know, it just seemed…fitting somehow. Tying up the last of the loose ends before moving.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

“Little Sister”. Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I stitched in a few surprises:

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"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

Plus, I really, really, really wanted to do the photo shoot at the S. S. Klondike.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

Really puts size into perspective, eh?

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I had fun with my “helpers”, Heather and Tammi. They were great quilt holders on a cold day!

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I used a “lemonade’ Bali Pop with Kona Cotton purple for the top. The backing is a pansy print on a yellow background. Binding is green checks from the same collection.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

Every time I took the quilt out to work on it, Jade and Halia would sit and watch me stitch. They were full of questions, observations and comparisons about the quilts that I had made for them last year.

Quilt Models Halia & Jade Pealow

5-year old Halia wanted her picture taken with the quilt. 7-year old Jade liked to look at all of the fabrics, and also liked to walk tight-rope style on it.

Quilt Models Halia & Jade Pealow

Which I thought made for some interesting photographs!

Quilt Models Halia & Jade Pealow

Even Crook the Cat got into the action.

insert "Jaws" soundtrack here!

insert “Jaws” soundtrack here!

It took me about 2 years from start to finish, I think. Maybe not quite…I don’t remember exactly when I started it. But that sounds about right.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

…Doing the very important job of keeping Heidi snug and warm during those long Montana winters.

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And of course, Little Sister was tested and approved by the resident quality assurance inspector (which he had to do before the quilt was finished due to time constraints).

this quilt tested and approved by Samson.

this quilt tested and approved by Samson.

The Christmas songs you love to hate

A thread I’ve been following on Facebook prompts me to write this post. You may not thank me, but I humbly offer up what I consider to be the worst Christmas song ever.

EVER.

It is about a cat that freezes to death on Christmas eve saving the life of a mouse. And Santa arrives too late. Do you believe it? It makes me cry and I hate that because it is such a stupid song.

So tell me…what tops your list for worst Christmas song ever? I’ll make a post dedicated to them.

Retirement: week one

Today is my 6th day in my new home in Salmon Arm, B.C and I have been procrastinating (no, really!). This week is GIVEAWAY week over at Sew Mama Sew, and I have spent literally hours entering all the draws. There are over 300 draws.  Three Hundred. Yes, I entered every single one. :).

As a result, unpacking has been going very slowly. We bring in a couple of boxes and I take some things out and put other things back in then send the box back to the garage. Then enter another dozen draws. Then open another box. etc.  Actually, there is so little storage space here compared to my old house t trouble figuring out where to put stuff. Which takes me from “zero to overwhelmed in 60 seconds flat” several times a day. But that’s okay. There really isn’t any hurry, and I’m slowly finding the things I need the most.

Yesterday we were out all day and today we’ll be out again…Kelly’s new business as regional flight test examiner took him to Vernon yesterday, Kamloops today and Kelowna next week. (what? isn’t he supposed to be retired?). Not being familiar with these places, I’ve been riding shotgun.

We hung the cuckoo clock, the Jim Rob and the Chris Caldwell the other day. Funny how those little touches of Whitehorse brings the house that much closer to feeling like home.

On Sunday we were reacquainted with a friend from years ago (Anita) who came over with our dear friend Karyne who was visiting from Ottawa. Karyne considers it her good fortune that two of her good friends now live in the same town!  Makes it much easier to visit! So Anita drove her over and we had our first visitors in our new home. I had unpacked the tea and the cups, thank goodness! Next time Anita comes over I will have some cookies to offer her, and maybe even a plate to put them on, lol!

Upon our return from walking Samson on Tuesday afternoon, we were met on the street by new neighbours just down the hill (Bob and Darlene) who invited us in for coffee and shortbread. Isn’t that nice? 🙂

And since it is Christmas after all, I look forward to putting a halt to everything and baking some cookies soon. Maybe tomorrow can be a stay-at-home day and I can make a floury, sugary mess in the kitchen then. 🙂

This is just a little update so you don’t think I’ve forgotten y’all!

Arrived!

The last 2 days of my trip were without internet, so I will post about the 2nd half of my drive in another post. I wanted to send an update first, so you aren’t left wondering…did she arrive? Is she in a ditch somewhere? Lol! You’re welcome!

Yesterday was my first full day in my new home. What a wonderful day it was…yesterday just happened to be Open House day at the local wineries! Who cares about sorting and unpacking…lets go wine tasting!  We visited three local wineries: Ovino, Larch Hills and Sunnybrae. We came home with 4 bottles of reds and 2 bottles of whites. Oh my, you haven’t tasted wine until you’ve tasted it right from the winery and from grapes they grew themselves!

Kelly did my homecoming justice. The house was immaculate. Freshly painted, freshly floored (see this post for before & after photos). We still have the bathroom, the entrance room and the Kelly’s den to renovate, but those can wait until spring.

Oh, my! I am really retired! At age 52! It hasn’t quite sunk in yet…

Here is my den. I’ve been living out of these two bins since the end of June! I can’t wait to unpack my sewing supplies and make this room completely my own. I still don’t know what I want to call it. I don’t want to call it my “sewing room” because a lot more will be going on in here besides sewing. It will be my sewing/yoga/dance/writing room. That’s a lot of activity in a tiny 9 x 11 room!

Studio? Office? Den? Suggestions welcome!

binsAnd here is my computer set up in my den 🙂

computer

Good enough for now. Until I am quite a bit more organized and ready to decide where to hang shelves etc.

After we got home from the wine tastings, I decided that I wanted to put up the Christmas tree! I know, I know…I can hear what you are thinking! Crazy!

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But it feels so much more like home now, with my own little tree and familiar family ornaments.

angel

…and look! I finally have a mantel to decorate!

Alaska Highway: Watson Lake to Fort Nelson December 3, 2013

Day 2 Driving the Alaska Highway

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Contact Creek Lodge just outside of Watson Lake:

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Contact Creek has the cheapest gas on the highway:

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Somewhere between Watson Lake and Muncho Provincial Park (if you’re viewing through email, you’ll need to go directly to the website to see the short video)

Bison on the road. They lay on the sides of the road like statues. Like big boulders. You don’t realize it’s an animal lying there until you’re passing it, sometimes!

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Caribou on the Alaska Highway in Muncho Provincial Park (if you’re viewing through email, you’ll need to go directly to the website to see the short video):

The drive through the mountains was awesome. A-MAZ-ING.

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A long and winding (but scenic) road that used all my defensive driving skills. The road is quite a bit narrower in the winter because of the snow plowed off to the side.  It wasn’t scary at all, but you do need to be alert and drive to the conditions.

I didn’t take any pictures of the road as it winds around the lake. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s sort of like driving on a flat roller coaster. Every corner is a blind corner. The road is about 1.5 lanes wide, and you can see what’s coming from several bends ahead, but you can’t see it coming right around the bend you are on. So you go slow. When you meet a transport truck, one of you has to pull off onto the side as far as you can, with a sheer rock wall on one side and the lake right on the other. Then you creep past each other with a wave and a grin before continuing on  your way. It’s probably not so bad in the summer, but in the winter the snow makes it even narrower. So you can understand that I didn’t have any attention to spare for my camera!

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All the mountain driving was tiring. Just when I thought I was through the mountains, I hit Stone Mountain Provincial Park. The road here was nice and wide, though, and other than a lot of climbing and descending, it was just fine.

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Alaska Highway: Whitehorse to Watson Lake, December 2, 2013

Day 1:

day 1 map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Alaska Highway: 037

At 10:45 in the morning my car’s thermometer is pegged at-30: as low as it will go. I do not know how cold it really is, only that it is colder than 30 below. After an hour on the road, there is still ice on the hood of the car and the clutch is still as stiff as tar. 040 042

I am driving East, into the rising sun, with everything I own. 032

when the road ahead
is drenched in molten gold
i know to raise my hand
in anticipation of being blinded
until the road slides west
and sunrise
falls

behind me.

044outhouse in December
some one has left the seat up
amber icicles

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driving east,
sarah brightman
eases the pie jesu
into the rising sun

as brilliant bursts  of liquid bronze and gold
splash champagne,
and shadows
chase the sweetness
of the melody
across the hillsides.

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telephone poles stretching
one after the other,
t-braces white with frost,
a thousand messiahs
with knees and feet of alabaster

and frosty brows bowed down,
connected by living wire,

carrying my whispered voice
from christ jesus
to christ jesus

until it reaches
your
ears.

click here to be directed to youtube if you are reading this in email and the video doesn’t show up.

Looking forward…

I didn’t depart today as planned. The weather forecast wasn’t acceptable. Tomorrow looks much better. If I had left today, I would have been driving into a storm warning. The storm will have passed by the time I leave tomorrow morning, and from the looks of the forecasts, I should have clear and cold to accompany me down. I will try my best to post every day, so stay tuned!

I spent today packing at my leisure and loading the car. What a jigsaw puzzle it was, getting everything to fit. I thought for awhile that I wouldn’t be able to make it work, but it actually came together just fine. There isn’t room for a flea, though. Honestly!

Meanwhile, Kelly has been busy getting the house ready for my arrival. He sent some before & after photos to me today. Hold onto your seats, the transformation is stunning! I can’t wait to get there and unpack all my boxes and hang up all my pictures and settle in.

Before:

before 1before 2before 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After:

after 1after 2after 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping the bed warm:

kitties