Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quilty and Other Goodness

I have had a lot of goodness lately to write about, most of it not quilty, but I have been working hard, hard, hard so that I can take my week off for the 1st Annual Sisters Quilt Retreat, which I expect to be jam-packed with much quilty goodness, maybe even excellence. My project is semi-completed, and looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. I plan on sleeping little, quilting much, laughing more, and revelling in sisters for a solid week, and then it's off to Utah for a week. My son, Eric, is going to the Dominican Republic for two years on a mission for our church, and we are taking him down to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, where he will learn Spanish and how to be a good missionary. We will miss him, but we are so proud of him!

I had the great good fortune to see James Taylor in concert this past Saturday. Talk about goodness! Oh, he was everything I had hoped for and more. When he sang Sweet Baby James, my heart just about melted with the sweetness of it. They performed a rockin', jammin' version of Steamroller Blues which, as Eric is fond of saying, melted my face off. So much of fun! He also sang a surprisingly haunting and mysteriously solemn cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oh What a Beautiful Morning. So lovely. I can't even begin to tell you how great this concert was, nearly three solid hours of JT and his Band of Legends. Easily the best concert I have ever been to.

So that's my goodness report. Isn't it great when life is full of goodness of all kinds? I'm am swimming in it right now and feeling very lucky. Wishing you all whatever kind of goodness you need.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My New Toy

I got a new iron yesterday. If this iron was for ironing shirts or something, I would not be one bit excited. I really dislike ironing shirts. My daughter loves to iron. I have no idea where that came from. No, ironing clothing of any kind is not fun. I am only excited about this iron because it's for quilting.

I used to have a Black and Decker Digital Advantage iron. I liked it fine, but one day it just refused to heat up, so it was time for a new one. I looked around a bit, couldn't find anything that really seemed like what I wanted, which was something with a lot of watts that heats up quite hot, has good steam, and will last for a long time. I had heard good things about Rowenta irons, so I had planned on looking at them but hadn't had the time. My husband offered to look for me, and he came home with a Rowenta Focus iron, 1700 watts of power and lots of steam holes.

I should say that I haven't actually used the iron yet. I have had no time to quilt, which is very sad, and I am certainly not volunteering to iron anything else. I have looked at the iron and plugged it in, and it seems good so far, so let's hope that Rowenta lives up to all the hype and that this is the best iron ever. Who would ever have thought that a new iron would be this exciting, exciting enough to write on the blog about? Do I live a sad, pathetic life, or am I just enjoying grown up things? You make the call.

SISTERS QUILT RETREAT BEGINS IN 10 DAYS!!! Now there's something to get excited about!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

Alberta, for the most part, is very, very flat, lots of farmland and prairies and big sky. A lot of people love it the bigness and openess and, well, flatness of the Alberta prairies (my daughter, Denise), but some of us do not (me). I am a mountain girl. I grew up by mountains, and I feel safe with them hovering over me, sheltering me.

We live about two hours away from Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, which is a national park that crosses the border of Canada and the United States. It's part of the world-famous Canadian Rockies, and it's my favorite place in Alberta. Nowhere else in this province recharges my batteries like a trip to Waterton.

We go to Waterton several times a year, and I always bring my camera, and I always get some amazing photographs. There are a few other things I always do in Waterton.

1. Smell the air. It has the best smell in the world. It's uniquely Waterton.

2. Feel the mist off Cameron Falls. It's both soothing and invigorating at the same time.

3. Skip some rocks with my son, Eric. I am bad, he is good. If I can skip a stone three times I am highly pleased with my skill. Last week he skipped one at least 20 times. He wins.

4. Stand on the dock at the lake and take a "boat ride". This is an optical illusion. We don't actually have a boat, but if you stand right on the edge of the dock, where all you can see around you is water, and you look at the water sort of unfocussed, like those computer-generated 3-D pictures that were popular a few years ago, then you feel like you are moving. It is way fun, and if you get your eyes to cooperate, you can go on a "trip" that last probably two or three minutes. I get much mocking from my family for this love of the fake sailing, but I don't care.

5. Eat an ice cream cone. Waterton has a tiny little town with a lot of gift shops and art galleries and one amazing ice cream parlor with homemade waffle cones. Yum!

6. Wish I lived there. You can buy a cabin there, if you can find someone selling theirs, but they are way out of my league, even for the ones that look like a shack.

So I share with you some of my pictures from the latest trip. I wish I was going there tomorrow.

Cameron Falls

Butterfly by the falls


Amazing amount of logs fallen across the stream. I don't know if it's beavers or weather responsible for this, but that's a pile of wood! (For all you Corner Gas fans)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No Fireworks, Just Floods

It was a very eventful Canada Day here in Lethbridge, but not with the usual festivities. Yesterday we got 45 millimetres of rain (nearly two inches for those of us non-metric people) in 90 minutes. We usually get that much rain in an entire month. As you can imagine, the storm sewers were not able to keep up and roads and basements everywhere were flooded. Our basement, luckily, did not flood because just before it started to rain we were inspired to put our extensions on the downspouts "just in case". Thank you.

So here is a picture of the road that leads to our house flooded with about four feet of water. Luckily our house is miles away from this spot. It was kind of exciting being the lead story on the Calgary news, and it was kind of fun when Gary and I had to run through the rain to get to the store. I have never seen rain like that in all my life. And it was also lucky that there is one road that goes from the south to north Lethbridge that didn't flood or we wouldn't have been able to come home for who knows how long.

I missed the fireworks, which were cancelled due to the flooding, and it was kind of inconvenient not to be able to flush toilets or use water for several hours after the storm, but we survived, and I hope they find another summer night to have fireworks just for fun.