Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Homeward Bound...

No, not me! Katy had her surgery yesterday afternoon and will be asked if she's like to come home this morning.

She totally tore her cruciate ligament, but there was no additional damage (they suspected that she also tore a miniscus. Thankfully, no.). In dogs, the angle between the two bones in the knee is quite severe (like 60 degrees). They repair the knee by cutting the bone and leveling the angle. It's called a Tibular Plateau Leveling Something-That-Begins-With-An "O". Now there is a small chance that she will have a complication: 10% of dogs have the bone just below the knee break while they are healing. This happened to Katy with her other knee. I'm hoping that the surgeon did whatever he could to support that portion of her leg and keep this complication from happening. (yes, it means a second operation).

Thank goodness we didn't book our hoped-for cruise through the Canal this year. Our vacation money has gone into our dog's knee.

So after I pick her up and settle her into her pen, I will be whacking up my squares.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Work Du Jour

Yes, I am still beading Green Mars. Working on it while I watch baseball games. However, I do have other things going. So, for the record:

Under The Needle: A couple of fiber postcards.

On The Needles: A pale yellow cotton knit tank top.

On The Design Wall: The start of a series.

Don't fret the photo yet. (Del knows where I'm going from here). In a couple days you won't recognize this. But looking at the photo, I still need to replace a couple of these squares. So you really won't recognize it!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

If it's a holiday...

It's time for a quiz. This one courtesy of Leslie at The Clutter Museum.

Which StarTrek Character are YOU?

I really thought I'd be Guinan... but I see now that was not an option. And it's done my delicate psyche wonders to see that if I'm not an empath, I'm completely expendable!! Remember me for your next disaster.

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi

Deanna Troi
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Geordi LaForge
Jean-Luc Picard
Will Riker
Mr. Scott
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Beverly Crusher
Mr. Sulu
James T. Kirk (Captain)
You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I took the pledge

Let it hereby be known that:

I, Debra Roby,

Pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 4 months.

I Pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself for the term of my contract.

I Pledge that I shall create and craft items of clothing for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract.

I Pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!

The Wardrobe Refashionistas will be beginning this year's work on June 1st. (hmm.. do socks and underwear count? should I just make a run incase?). I read about it and thought that I have all these still wearable summer tshirts that I need to
a. discharge
b. batik
c. overdye

So these would work for the challenge. I think many of the participants are a lot younger than I am, and we'll have fun. Wanna come play, too?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Thank you all

for your kind words to Katy. We are working toward a new (temporary) routine.

I have Katy set up in a pen in the family room. She has a water bowl, a blankie and a couple toys (that she's ignored so far). She lies on her blanket and watches the world go by most of the day. When she needs to go out, she gets up and stands where the pen opens. Quietly. Waiting.

Got to tell you.. remember she's blown a back knee. Watching her piddle and poop without squatting is an interesting experiment in adaptive movement.

Each day she gets a hour or so to go sit outside in the sun. She seems to like it. I'm really lucky that she's not a high activity lab.

I really liked Del's take on the situation: I'd get lots of work done! (she's probably right).

Today I took Jake to the dog park for a nice long ball-chase. He got to hang with other dogs and chase tennis balls like a fiend. So he's not feeling "left out" to the invalid.

We're spending most of the weekend doing some cleaning/gardening work. Nothing exciting. And I've got real plans to start a new large-ish quilt this week. So maybe Del's right... I'll have plenty of time to get some work done.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Title Help

Got an email from my pickle friend Karen Boutte. Linda Schmidt has had to withdraw from coordinating PIQF's fashion show and Karen will be taking over. Gee, I get to help!! (NO, I won't be designing or modelling.. I'll be a dresser in the back).

Anyway, we are thinking about a new title for the show. In the past it's been called Designing Woman's Showcase. (to me, a bit of a '90s feel to it). So what suggestions might you have for a "hipper" fashion showcase at a quilt show?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Atleast I had a jacket this time.

My plans for today were fairly simple: do some long-weekend grocery shopping, take the dogs for a swim, do some pre-holiday cleaning while I mused on the postcards I'm working on. (I'm not happy with them).

I had thought I'd merely point you back to this post from last summer as the reference.

Plans change.

Three years ago while at Point Pinole, Katy blew out her left rear knee. Labs and lab mixes are prone to cruciate ligament tears. And once they blow one knee there is a 50% chance that they'll blow the other.

Yep, today while swimming in the same park, Katy blew out her right cruciate ligament.

Last time we had to walk the 2 miles back to the car alone. There was nobody in park at all. I took off my shirt and used it as a sling, walking through the park in my bra.

Atleast today I had a jacket with me. And better luck. As we passed the park equipment yard and office, I noticed there were people in there eating lunch. They called a van to drive us to the parking lot and carried Katy from the van to my car.

I drove straight to the vet's where without x-rays he could make a pretty good diagnosis of a blown knee.

We have our appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday. She'll come home on Thursday and I'll begin the six week rehab with her.

Oh joy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Seven Degrees of Blogging...

Last year I'd try to play a game where I started with a blog from my own or someone's blogroll, choose one blog from that blogroll , choose again.. and again.

The idea was to try to get back close to where I started.

I could never do it.

Today, however, there are many more blogs. In reading through some of the knitting blogs on my blogroll, I've gotten to writers in my "craft", "altered art", "sketching" and "quilting" catagories appearing in their blogrolls.

Wonder if the game could be played now?

Yep, that's my town

You may have heard on your news that there is a town in California that is going to use the power of Eminent Domain to keep WalMart from building a store in their community.

Yep. That's my town.

The truly interesting thing about this that the news isn't mentioning: a year ago the council was pretty strongly telling it's citizens that we were going to have to accept WalMart. We needed the sales tax revenue.

But a citizen action group stepped in and started organizing the city (again). The council heard the voices (close to 75% of the town does not want the WalMart here), and decided to listen to the citizens. It's going to cost us $13 million or so to accomplish this task, but I'm glad it's going forward.

What will happen to parcel in the future? It is designed to be grocery store, a drugstore and other retail outlets. When the city gets the land it will invite developers to come up with a plan for the land that does not include any "big box" type stores.

I'm praying for a Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Green Mars Update

So the base embroidery is finished on this piece and I'm working on adding more beads. Where, what color, what pattern? I'm not sure. But more.

There will probably still be colonies of french knots to add... but that will come after the beads.

Then I finally need to figure out bind the edges of this. Facing might be necessary, overcasting might occur. Any suggestions?

On another note, I heard from the ladies at Art Quilt Claremont. There are still plenty of spots in Rayna Gilman's class. There is plenty of time yet; but this isnt' something to delay your decision about too long or you'll end up committing to something else.

If you've always wanted to take a class with Rayna, sign up now!! Heck, they will even let you make regular payments. Think about it... The Claremont, Rayna, Gerrie and me!! What's there to think about??

Monday, May 22, 2006


I'm working on knitting my first thing that isn't a pair of socks. (what an ugly sentence!) It's a pale yellow cotton knit tank top. Or it will be if I ever get further along than 3".

I cast on and started working on it while I travelling. Including while in a cramped center seat on the flight home. When I got home, it was 15 stitches wider than when I started. Rip.

Cast on again last Thursday and worked on it while watching TV. Finally yesterday it was long enough to check the size and make sure that it's going to fit OK.


The gauge when I swatched it was the same as the pattern: 5 stitches/inch. When I finally checked the piece last night? Gauge had become 4 stitches/ inch. So my top was about 8" too wide!

Rip again.

Start all over again.

Connect the cast-on stitches to make a tube.. and they twist. Rip out and start again. Think maybe I should rib the first couple rows. The caston stitches twist and become completely unable for me to discern what's a stitch and what isn't. Rip out and start again. I'm getting to hate this.

This is a very easy pattern; but I'm now going to have to pay attention and make changes along the way to adjust to the new gauge. At this rate, I'll nice light cotton tank to wear at the winter holidays.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How'd I learn to do it??

Beth asked how I learned to do the stuff I'm doing on Green Mars. Sounds like a great topic for a blogpost.

Most of the embroidery items on this piece are very simple embroidery stitches. There is cross stitch, feather stitch, French knots and couching; maybe some chain stitch. Some simple wrapping stitches were used to create the spiderweb flower forms.

There are several places to find these stitches online:

Sharon B. has a wonderful online Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework and The British Embroidery Guild has a fabulous website where you can find stitches and projects. The stitches are the foundation, the projects give one ideas how to use them. A lot of my inspiration comes from Encrusted Calico.

Many of the beads were simply applied like you'd bead anything... though I'll admit there are patches of beads where a strand of 5-10 are woven or braided before the end is sewn down. Don't know if I read that anywhere or just decided that that's what needed to be done to get the proper texture.

I'm almost done with the base level of embroidery.. will have paths of French knots to run through the piece and more spiderweb flower clusters to add, but the next step is to do some more of the beading. I want it to repeat some of the look of stuff I've done with simply thread (beading is just stitching with an extra step of stuff, IMHO).

So I've gotten inspiration from lots of places, but I'm not sure that I LEARNED how to do this from any one. Given that I have 5 (five??) pieces that are waiting for hand work to be done on them, I think this is something that my soul has created.

So what questions arise from reading this?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I'm going to try a change.

In an effort to make this blog more centered on my creative activities, I've started another blog to fulfill my need to babble about my daily life:

Deb's Daily Distractions.

This new blog will be the spot where I note things like:

  • how many steps I've taken each day.
  • what I'm reading.
  • what we're having for dinner.
What THIS blog will return to is what I'm doing creatively. I'm hoping that making this change, and feeling compulsive about writing here regularly, I will "back door" myself into doing more creative stuff. I mean without distractions to write about here.. if I don't create what will I blog about?

I'm going to try this for atleast a month. Please let me know if you think this is working.

Motorcyle Awareness Month

My friend Biker Deb (to distinguish from all the other Debs) sent me a note reminding me that this is Motorcycle Awareness Month. And she sent this poem by that talented poet: Anon Y Mous.

I Saw You
I saw you,
hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
But, you didn't see me,
put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.
I saw you,
pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But, you didn't see me,
playing Santa at the local mall.
I saw you,
change your mind about going into the restaurant.
But, you didn't see me,
attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.
I saw you,
roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.
But, you didn't see me,
driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car
I saw you,
frown at me when I smiled at your children.
But, you didn't see me,
when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.
I saw you,
stare at my long hair.
But, you didn't see me,
and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.
I saw you,
roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves.
But, you didn't see me,
and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.
I saw you,
look in fright at my tattoos.
But, you didn't see me,
cry as my children where born, and have their name written over and in my heart.
I saw you,
change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
But, you didn't see me,
going home to be with my family.
I saw you,
complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
But, you didn't see me,
when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.
I saw you,
yelling at your kids in the car.
But, you didn't see me,
pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me.
I saw you,
reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
But, you didn't see me,
squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.
I saw you,
race down the road in the rain
But, you didn't see me,
get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.
I saw you,
run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
But, you didn't see me,
trying to turn right.
I saw you,
cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
But, you didn't see me,
leave the road.
I saw you,
waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
But, you didn't see me.
I wasn't there.
I saw you,
go home to your family.
But, you didn't see me.
Because, I died that day you cut me off.
I was just a biker,.....
A person with friends and a family.
But, you didn't see me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I know, it's Thursday afternoon..

and I haven't blogged anything in a couple days. Seriously, nothing to write home about.

Remember that odd bug I had in February? A squishy gut? Steve has it. So I cook him soup for supper and try to stay far enough away to not catch it again. But he keeps coming home early feeling sick and disrupting my day. So things seem to be accomplished at half pace.

I have cast a cotton tank top onto some knitting needles. I hope I finish it before the weather gets cold.

I have dyed some t-shirts late this afternoon and will rinse them out tomorrow. Still need to design my sayings.

I may have something to show by the end of the weekend.

And I've figured out that the clutter in my sewing room is driving me away, so I'm working on straightening it up.

See? Boring.

But the good news? My veggie garden is completely planted.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pride and Pedometers

I've signed up for a challenge. Not an art challenge.. a woman's challenge. It's Women and girls On the Move Across the Nation.

All I've agreed to do is wear a pedometer every day and attempt to do my 10,000 steps/day for 2 months. I've wanted to accomplish this, but now I'm part of a group.

Yesterday I wore the pedometer, and worked around the house but did NOT take a daily walk. I still ran up over 10,000 steps!! I was not sitting idley around on my butt all day.

Sunday (first day) I took the dogs on a 3 mile walk, today we did 2 miles with elevation (up and down about 200 feet). With all the gardening and housework included, I'm well on the way to over 10,000 steps.

If you would like to join me, I've started a group: quilters with no fat quarters.
Go to the website, and join. Tell them you wish to join an existing group, then scroll down to this one.

Save The Internet

I'm sure you know. There is a bill in US Federal congress supported by the large phone companies that will allow those companies to control the individual's access to the internet. These companies will be allowed to slow the access speed to smaller websites (so it is slower to load a personal blog than a commercial news website) or be allowed to block certain websites altogether.

This sounds like the land of the free speech, doesn't it??

Read more about it then DO SOMETHING.

And thanks to SongBert for providing the Snopes link in case you think this is scam.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunday! Work day!

The problem with travelling is all the "stuff" that doesn't get done at home and sits waiting for your return. STLE seems to always occur in that one week in May when all living things go "sproing" and either sprout or leap up to hip height. This year was no exception.

So today:

I woke up at 6 (well, the dogs woke me up), did my online stuff, bathed, dressed and ate a little breakfast. Out the door with the dogs for a 3 mile walk about 9 am. We met about 6 friendly dogs along the way, recommended a new "poop bag" to the city, and made sure that the city hasn't changed in a week.


Mowed the lawn, raked up the patches of dead grass (they are about 1/3 of the lawn), spread some seed and watered it in.

Break for lunch.

Watered the pots on the deck, fed everything with fish emulsion, picked some rhubarb for a pie.

Now for a nap. The dogs are crashed on the tile (a sure sign of summer... dogs on the cool floor). Maybe some weeding later today.

What's for dinner? Grilled Chicken Salad with grilled vegetables, fresh lemonade, fresh strawberries and angelfood cake.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Car Conversation

He: I've got to check outside and see how dry it is. Maybe I can get one more fire in the firepit this season.

Me: I think it's going to be too dry.

He: Well, we'll see. I wouldn't want to be known as the guy who burned the town down.

Me: So you'd be the Mrs. O'Leary of Northern California?

He: Yeah. But you'd be the cow.

Me: I'm not going near your fire.. not to mention kicking it over.

He: But you bought the firepot. Without it, no fire. So you're the cow.

Me: You picked it out...

He: Yeah, but YOU went back and purchased it. Ergo, you would be the cow.

Me: I really don't like being referred to as a cow!!

He: Took you longer to react to that than I expected.

Friday, May 12, 2006

What I did on my Spring Vacation besides eat.

GREEN MARS in progress

This is Green Mars (in progress)
I started this a couple years ago, misplaced it, just found it and worked on it while we were travelling. It's only about 10" square). I've decided that before I continue with the beading, I need to cover most of the surface with embroidery (very freeform). That's what I'm working on now. When the stitching is done, I'll go back in with beads.

This is part of a series of pieces based upon Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series. In Green Mars he spends a couple pages describing the first lichen/mosses seen growing on the planet. That's was this piece is supposed to represent. No it is not supposed to be realistic.


Even with the closeup feature turned on, I can't quite get a superclear closeup picture. Sorry.

I think the fabric is dyed then painted. There are bullion "flowers", french knots, feather stitch, cross stitch, couching and beads. Much of the beading is "braided" or repeats similar stitches to the embroidery.


Another detail shot. On the plane last night, I just stared at this for about an hour thinking about how it will look when finished.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig.

We got home at midnight. Turned up all the heaters that were down/off (water, coffee, hot top, furnace), and turned on the modem/server. Fell asleep by 1 am. Awoke at 6:30.

I've read all the quilting blogs in my feed, and checked my email.

Today I need to:

  • Get the dogs, and take Jake to the vets (ugly eye);
  • Wipe out the fridge then grocery shop;
  • Start the laundry;
  • Pick up the mail;
  • Check the gardens
Think it will be a simple supper and an early-ish night.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Final Food Comments, eh??

Wednesday was our last night in Calgary.  A number of the women I've spoken with have HAD to go to dinners with their spouses where they were either being an "entertained customer" or were they were being the "entertaining supplier".  Whichever role, the dinners all tended to be too long (like 3.5 hours) and not entertaining.  They have my sympathies.

Tonight the three of us who began the trip a week ago invited 2 other friends to join us for a final night out.  Continuing with the international dining experiences we headed for a Russian restaurant we'd spotted.  I don't remember the name.. it began with an "S" and means "fairytale".

After perusing the menu, Elaine (responible for dinners, remember?) suggested that we each order something different, ask for extra plates and have a sort of Russian smorgasbord.  It was the best idea yet.

We started with appetizers of an assortment of olives (olives are Russian?) and a plate of blini and red caviar.  The waitress let them know that there were 5 of us.. so 5 blini appeared on our plate.  After devouring those, our main dishes were served:  Beef stroganoff with rice, chicken kiev with fresh steamed vegetables, cheese perogies with fresh shoe-string onion rings and sour cream, pork and beef dumplings, and sea bass with a champagne-mushroom sauce.

Are you drooling yet?  I forgot my camera, or I'd have those tastebuds on high alert.

The staff had never seen a table serve and eat "family style" but they all agreed that it made a great way to eat.  I think our waitress might file it away to suggest to other large parties.  We passed plates and divided the goodies, then ate until we were almost stuffed.

The finale was the dessert.  They had three to offer: a "Russian cheesecake.. a blini filled with cheesecake filling then deep fried, served with a raspberry and chocolate sauce.. and two versions of a fairly traditional honey cake... a tall concoction of sliver thin pieces of cake with a light filling.  We chose one blini and one cake to split each 5 ways.  We could have stuck with only one dessert.

Yep.  We were stuffed.  But we talked and laughed and visited and had a great time.  Two and half hours later we headed out take a short stroll before settling in for night.  And we agreed that we will try to repeat the experience at next year's conference in Philadelphia and the year after in Cleveland.  I'm not sure that I will go next year... but I'm sure that these four will have a great time.  Massoud was even told that he could not retire until these dinners had run their course!

Today we are heading home.. where the most exciting thing about dinner will be whether the wind off the bay blows the gas grill out.  Oh well, I will need to add a mile/day or more to my walks each day to recover from the eating this week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

More for Wednesday...

Since I'm online...

This afternoon I'm going to the Calgary Zoo. It's supposed to be a very good zoo, and I always try to visit the zoo when I'm in a new town.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to a museum... part natural history, part history, part art. Then we are heading home. So I'm already starting to switch over to "home" mode of thinking. My list of things to do on Friday is at 8 and growing... And I think Steve just added another item or two to the list, though I don't recall what they are.

So look for the next post this weekend. I did some work on a hand piece that I started over a year ago, misplaced for a while, forget what my original thoughts were so I'm approaching it a bit anew. It got highly positive comments from the other "guests" on the tourbus yesterday... and it's maybe only 1/3 done. Photo this weekend (I think this will be entered in the Small Works competition at Chicago next winter).

Ok.. So Wednesday!! Plus Pictures

Silly me, I considered that being in a large hotel (hotel/conference center) complex, that it might be likely to find affordable internet connection without walking all over Calgary!! Our hotel is charging $18/day for internet+long distance. Just want internet? Still $18.

So it took until today to find a good spot. Fortunately, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce has free wifi, though they do request that you buy a cuppa coffee. So for $1.50 I am back online. This part of the trip has been less fun than the first part... nothing bad, but nothing quite exciting either. As promised: photos from the weekend, all Lake Louise and surroundings.

The Fairmount Lodge at Lake Louise.

Lake Louise. The view of the glaciers (there are six up there) from near the lodge.

On our way back to our room, we took a sideroad (1A that parallels the freeway. Saw lots of wildlife, including these Mountain Goats crossing the road to get a drink of water in the stream.

We decided to pick up a lunch at Lake Louise, and picnic on the way back. I'd told you that already. Here is the photographic proof.

Not very accomodating, but quite a scenic lunch:

Additional evidence:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Notes after a Nap

I am sitting in my motel room in Canmore, Alberta, CA. Just finished a fine afternoon nap, and thought I'd better let you know I'm still among the living (well, more than that cryptic note of this morning let on). Pictures probably not until Monday or so. I've taken them, but haven't downloaded them into the computer yet.

We flew into Canada Thursday. Left our house at 3:45 am, picked up friend Elaine and made it to the Oakland Airport with a little time to spare before 6 am flight. (but not a lot. We might have slept in another 15 minutes.. no more). Flew to Denver than up to Calgary, where we arrived about 3:30 pm. Sunny, warm and wonderful.

Calgary is building up a storm!! We drove through new home developments that must hold close to 10,000 new homes. I will find out this week where all those people are working. Then up the Canadian highway to Canmore. It's a nice little town about 25 km from Banff; and Canmore is building up a storm too.

We have a nice but quite small room. And a simple arrangement: Steve picks where we eat breakfast and drives; I pick where we eat lunch and navigate. Elaine picks where eat supper and provides conversational diversion. So far it's working well.

Except that Steve gets off easy. We found out that breakfast is included in our room... so no picking necessary from him. Still he's driving, so I won't complain.

Thursday night, Elaine chose a local Greek restaurant. None of us were terribly hungry, so we split a meze plate (mixed appetizers) and each ordered a small Greek salad. Ofcourse there was baklava for dessert.

Friday we drove up to Lake Louise. This is a glacial lake. It may be May, and it was gorgeous everywhere else, but there was still a little snow on the path as we walked next to the lake. Enough snow that I chose not to head to either of the teahouses; up hill paths with snow... not in my future.

We walked around a bit, then I suggested we stop at a deli "in town" and pick up a picnic lunch. The weather was beautiful. We plopped ourselves on the "alternate, pictureque route" back to Banff and searched for a spot. Finding nothing that seemed likely, we simply pulled off the road at a "scenic spot" (it was...) and ate either standing up or sitting on the parking stops.

It was delightful.

Dinner was fresh pasta place in town. Steve had chiriso and mussels in a spicy tomato sauce over fettucini; Elaine, penne with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. Me? butternut squash filled ravioli with a sauce made of butter, raspberries, fresh herbs and almond slivers. They called it: Dream of Summer. It was.

Today we spent the morning exploring Banff. It is cooler today (and rain is supposed to be coming in), but we walked around the Fairmount "castle" in Banff, checked out a couple of the hot springs that started it all, and took a nice trail walk. Our original plans at Tea at the resort were cancelled when we learned that a) it's $25/person and b) you must make reservations in advance. Besides our permit to be inside the National Park (and Banff and Lake Louise are part of the park) runs out at 4 pm.

Instead, we had lunch in Banff (buffalo burgers), and an attempt at shopping. I collect national park pins for all the parks I go to; Banff and Lake Louise are in Canada's Rocky Mountain National Park. Alas, there is no pin. Or I couldn't find it. Any Canadian readers: your mission is to locate a park pin for me. In the US, there would have been about 4 gift shops runs by the park system at every stop. Here in Canada, there is none. I like this better, but...

We slept poorly last night (crazy people screaming and playing in the halls all night), so home about 2:30 for a nice nap.

Now that I've written this, I can go down to the gym for a small workout, and do some reading before discovering where Elaine is taking us tonight.

Tomorrow we head back to Calgary. Steve and Elaine put on thier work hats.. I think we even have a dinner scheduled with someone tomorrow night. And I play tourist alone in Calgary.

See ya Monday.

Just a second before breakfast...

I was watching Saturday's TODAY show.. and they had INXS as the band on the plaza. JD was nowhere to be seen.

I want to know the story.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The light in this sunset the other night was so diffuse it looked like a Japanese watercolor.

Wednesday's Ways

We leave the house tomorrow at 4 am. and return next Thursday at midnight. I'm taking my laptop because there is a good chance I will find wi-fi somewhere... and it's predicted to rain Monday through Wednesday.

Today I'm doing all the "ready to travel" things done. Empty what needs emptying, filling what needs filled. Stopping what must be stopped. Stock up for the dog sitter.

Nothing interesting.

But I am packing some handwork, so maybe when I find said wi-fi there will be photos.

Maybe more later.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


My car fixed. It took three hours to check out the sensors, see that there was no problem, reset everything and get me back on the road. Fortunately, it's all covered by the warrenty.

After a lengthy talk with the other guy in the waiting room, I excused myself to sit in the sun and read my book; I finished it 15 minutes before they finished my car. I recommend it if you like biographies about fearless women who love food. And, yes, Karoda this book has recipes mixed in with the story.

It is TENDER AT THE BONE, by Ruth Reichl. The first of three or four autobiographies she has written. She is the restaurant critic for the NY Times.

I'm trying to understand why this year I seem to be drawn to books about women who travel or move and love food. With short breaks, I've read: Linda Ellerbee's Take Big Bites, Frances May's Under the Tuscan Sun and this book. When I get home, I'll go to the library and pick up her second book.

I love the travelling stories as much or more than the food stories. Maybe I'm living vicariously through these women. Anyone want to take up the psycho-analysis of this reading, step right up.

Tuesday's To Dos...

Darn it all. My car needs to go into for a look under the hood by a mechanic. I can't plan on how long this will take, so I can't plan to do anything today.

Will write more later...

In the meantime, Crazy Aunt Purl has decided that:

CANCER (June 22 - July 22)
More UFOs appear to Cancerians than to any other sign in the zodiac. Perhaps we're so damn evolved that we naturally attract intelligent life from other planets. On the other hand, maybe we're just a little oversensitive and we "see" things that aren't there. This is the dual nature of the crab. May is shaping up to be a stellar month for crabs, and boy have we needed it. I think we should spend this month actively communicating with intelligent beings. Instead of seeing aliens all around us, or trying to beam ourselves far away from the current situation (whatever it may be) (and right now personally it is my dire lack of lunch), we ought to try seeking some human contact. Whether it's in relationships (hrmph), career issues, or family and home stuff, the results could be out of this world. (Hah hah! Get it! Out of this world!) (Sorry. Low blood sugar.)

Ok.. so as I understand it.. I need to spend more time among human beings instead of sitting here with my laptop pretending to communicate with human beings...

I can do that! (yeah, right!)