Mount Lorne, a Hockey Hero…and Marichi’s Posse for the Letter M

For several years we lived in the Yukon bush, in an area between Carcross and Whitehorse, near what is now the Hamlet of Mount Lorne.

That’s where M played hockey on the outdoor rink. Yes, outdoor hockey in the Yukon. Of course!

But it was cold, I’m not going to kid you. Someone always had to get their early to light a fire in the big old wood stove beside the benches at the hockey rink on game days. The kids used to take their skates off between shifts on the ice and hold their frozen feet up in front of the fire. Parents were recruited to lace & unlace, whipping those skates on and off to speed things up. Sometimes we’d hold up spare socks in front of the fire so when the kids got off the ice we could warm those toes, bright red from the cold up even faster for a quick turn-around. When it was really cold (-25 or so) they could only stay on the ice for about 10 minutes at a time before their feet would start to sting.

The year we moved in, the community association built a proper community hall, complete with kitchen and bathrooms. The year after that, an enclosed warming shack beside the rink, with a second wood stove inside. What luxury! The warm-up shack had two rooms: one for our team and one for visitors. The wood stove was on the home team’s side, but we’d leave the connecting door open for heat during particularly cold weather.  During my hockey-mom years, I volunteered many hours in the concession stand, selling hot dogs and hot chocolate, bags of chips and hundreds of cups of coffee. I drove many miles taking my turn in the carpool, cracking the windows against the overwhelming odour of boys and unwashed hockey gear. Eau de Hockey Bag. Those were the days.

Hockey has its downside, though. Your parents must be moderately wealthy in order to hold your head up amongst your peers. Pity the 12-year old boy who has to shop for his gear at the second-hand sports store and depend on hand-me-downs from wealthy friends.

Thank goodness, most of the families on our team shopped at Canadian Tire – as we did, for the most part. However, there was always one boy who was being fitted for the top-of-the-line brand at Hougen’s Sport Store while another was making do with duct tape and extra socks.

We were not wealthy. We made do. M wore more than his share of second hand gear.

One time, the boys went on a road trip to play a tournament in BC. M was wearing an old pair of oft-mended skates. Wouldn’t you know it; they had to break on the road trip. Rather than poor M having to sit out the tournament, the team’s two coaches took him to town and bought him a new pair. These were not the Canadian Tire, mid-priced ones we would have been able to afford. Oh no – these were Top of the Line skates. Best-skates-money-could-buy skates. Every boy’s dream skates. M was over the moon with pride and joy.  When he innocently presented me with the receipt for reimbursement, I burst into tears. There was no way I could pay it. I was angry, hurt and mortified beyond belief. Did the coaches think that we sent our son out in cheap skates because we were… cheapskates?

They were kind men. Good fathers. Great coaches. They just didn’t think –they probably had a limited selection to choose from and very little time to shop. Really, they probably just bought the first pair that fit, in a rush with a bus-load of boys waiting in the parking lot. They were heroes, really. M’s heroes.

They were kind to buy M skates and not make him sit out the game. They were kind to create a scholarship fund (which hadn’t existed before this trip) to help us out. Because what can you say when the mom is standing in the parking lot crying over a bill she can’t pay?

The very next year, the new scholarship fund bought skates for another little boy whose family couldn’t afford them. We haven’t lived in the Mount Lorne area in decades, but I know that that hastily created scholarship fund has probably helped a lot of families out when they needed it.

And now for the A-Z challenge:

MMarichi’s Pose (marichiasana)

263_hp_bas_01_450

Marichi,  literally meaning a ray of moon- or sunlight is a wonderful stretch. I always feel good after doing this one. Hockey players like it, too. ♥

Knitting and Novel Writing… and Lord of the Dance for the letter L

Hi!

So, you remember a couple of days ago when I told you about the green sweater I wanted to knit? I’m so glad I decided to switch patterns. Somehow the way this sweater pattern is written reminds me of how I’m writing my novel.

What?

On sweaters I’ve knit in the past, you start at one end and you knit until you’re finished, hopefully at the other end. A lot of writers write this way, as well. They cast on with the first chapter, knit up the body of the work, throw in a few interesting twists and turns (maybe a cable stitch or two,) then cast off with a nice, tidy ending. Hopefully, everybody lives happily ever after and there are no loose ends.

Well, in the Grace Cardigan that I’m knitting, the first thing you do is knit up a small piece, add some shaping, and then set it aside for a bit while you work on something else. While it’s resting in the knitting basket, you cast on another little bit, only this time using a  technique called the “provisional cast on.” This leaves the cast-on edge “live” so that you can go back later, pick up those stitches and knit in the other direction.

That’s exactly the way I’ve been writing my first novel, Holding Space. I wrote a bit on the beginning, then set it aside and spent some time in the middle. Then I went back and worked on the beginning again. At some point, I picked up those stitches that I left “live” and knit/wrote them going in the other direction, until eventually the two halves met up. Then I worked on the ending.

Now I’m working on the polishing. That would be the knitting equivalent of burying the loose threads, sewing up the seams and doing the final blocking.

Gee, I feel very writerly for noticing that! (is writerly a word? Oh, who cares!)

LLord of the Dance

I chose this pose for the letter L today simply because I love the name!

Also because it’s a balance pose and I love balance poses. Maybe because I’m pretty good at them.

…although some days I feel like the little sister in this video… (It’s only 27 seconds long and honestly…ya gotta watch it! I dare you not to laugh!)

If you need to, use a chair or the wall to help you with your balance.

…or a horse, if you’ve got one handy…

God, this is fun! Balance poses are all great for working the core!

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/lord-of-the-dance-pose/

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/lord-of-the-dance-pose/

 

x

Indy sewing patterns…and King Cobra for the letter K

I’ve been spending my allowance on sewing patterns this last month, and they’ve been arriving like hotcakes! Is there anything better than getting presents in the mail? Not much, let me tell ya!

Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files

Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files

 

These pajamas are going to be so awesome  –  I can’t wait to make a set or three. This is an intermediate level pattern, so will stretch my skills with collars, cuffs, button bands and piping.

Closet Case Files is located in Montreal. The Carolyn pajama pattern has gotten great reviews.

 

 

I really do want to learn to make my own clothes. To that end, I’ve purchased a couple of Craftsy sewing classes. Bonus: they come with patterns!

vogue 8793

vogue 8793

Vogue 8793 is by designer Katherine Tilton.

…and Vogue 9057 is by her sister, designer Marcy Tilton.

The Tilton sisters co-teach the class. I’ll do a review of the class once I’ve done it.

Both will be great additions to my winter wardrobe.

Funky!

vogue 9057

vogue 9057

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s mail brought a parcel from Collette Patterns, in Portland, Oregon.

The Rooibos Dress – fabulous design details:

cp1006-rooibos-06-large-9547fae8f1b92c230f476549b6121597ff771a00ae600016224aa3427498dbd8cp1006-rooibos-03-large-5644b68bfd33110eec439a72ff66940befe79af772cae7e5b2b9d672b2d586e8

The Lily Dress – more fabulous design details:

cp1020-lily-06-large-05520e8c7871c5f568f0b2b99524dc07a1f855f058fc66657da6892313ecb342cp1020-lily-03-large-3fc4efb27f4fa8b86dd996672d984ae2d231c56bc1c6af81b3929736cbfd2f3e

The Laurel Dress – classic shift with lots of options:

cp1025-laurel-12-large-818764633d8862d1b4da235e826b82d41eb9dd463e3a1806080ef1627cb793cbcp1025-laurel-01-large-7d8eb2c14b5758fe0e40d7e6a149286ca32dd7c10e92c37e6cd199e58d264988

The Crepe Dress – a wrap dress that ties in the back:

cp1013-crepe-08-thumb-86754aafe3be4c73f403ee95e4a13e83135f6f29756f2fbf8f535032206f756acp1013-crepe-06-large-b74c45a22b8d8d004196276e54b496808d9e70c6f87a9631cba90e50189667b0

That should keep me going for a good long while, eh? 🙂

…and now for the letter K in the April A-Z Blogger’s challenge:

KKing Cobra

This is the advanced version of the Cobra pose: King Cobra.

A lovely pose that I am content to admire from afar. 🙂

 

tribesports.com

tribesports.com