A is for April

April Showers

April is the month that the snow finally melts in the Yukon. It’s a chilly, muddy month. A month for the last of the cross country skiing before you get too far into the calendar. For jumping on the trampoline in your wool socks and hoodie, mud boots kicked off and lying to the side. A month where detritus melts out of snowbanks full of gravel, a winter’s worth of dog poop revealed in the yard, plastic bags blowing in the wind. April brings the first rain we’ve seen in 6 or 7 long months.  The rain that comes to take the away the snow, wash the winter from your soul. 

I’m going to give the Blogging From A-Z in April challenge a shot. That’s one blog post per day April
(except Sundays). That’s 26 blog posts. One for each letter of the alphabet.  Wish me luck!

Slow Stitching Sunday

Today is one of those honest, old-fashioned lazy days. The kind we always wish we could have. The kind we imagine we used to have, back in the good old days, whenever those were. Of course, we can’t actually remember any specific lazy Sundays. But they must have existed, right? Because we remember them.

Maybe they don’t happen very often. Maybe that’s why they’re so special. Like today.

Outside my window the snow is falling and everything is covered in drifting white. The wind is ringing the chimes outside the front door.  I have a cup of tea at my elbow and Mr. C is snoozing reading on the couch while our fur babies enjoy a group snuggle in front of the fire.

010Today I did not get up with any particular agenda in mind. I may spend some time with my latest hand quilting project. This little quilt is so sweet. I’m quilting white-on-white because I want the quilt to look embossed when finished.

003If you’re interested in quilting by hand, I’m using 40 weight YLI quilting thread in “natural” and John James size 10 hand quilting needles. I’m also quilting it directly in my hands instead of using a hoop or a frame. I’m also using a product called Thimble Pads on my pushing finger: little sticky leather dots. I love them.

007I’m really enjoying quilting directly in my hands this way. I don’t know if I’ll go back to using a hoop after this. My stitches are a bit coarser, but they’ll improve with practice.

006Other news: my critiques are all in from my little critique group. I will probably spend some time looking at them. Or maybe not.Maybe I’ll save those for tomorrow, because I know that once I open them I’m going to want to get busy with edits. I won’t be able to help myself. And that sounds like work. Not worthy for such a deliciously lazy day.

Later on my friend Cynde is coming over and we’re going to eat some of the apple cake that I made yesterday (recipe here), drink tea and watch a Craftsy class together.

013Oh dear. I’m sorry I disturbed you, Sam!

Today I’m linking in with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy’s Quilts, and at Lily’s Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet. And that’s all the work I’m going to do.

I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as much as I am enjoying mine. Are you being lazy, too?

Alaska Highway, Whitehorse to Watson Lake one year ago today

One year ago today I drove away from Whitehorse, embarking on a solo journey down the Alaska Highway in -30 something temperatures. I stopped along the way to take some photos and jot down some poems. Here is that post.

Day One: Whitehorse to Watson Lake (December 2, 2013)

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

Poem:

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.

044Haiku:

outhouse in December
someone has left the seat up
amber icicles

046

Poem:

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

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

039a

Poem:

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

to christ jesus
until it reaches
your
ears.

This is a short video of the road, shot holding the camera on the dash as I drove. It’s beautiful. Click here if you can’t see it.