This post pretty much speaks for itself. It just details the long, slow melt of this year’s snow from our back deck from the first day of spring until the 18th of April, when it was finally all gone. It has been a long, cold spring and even as I’m writing this (on April 25th) – it seems as if winter still doesn’t want to let go (it snowed yesterday!). — well I took a while to get this posted. It now being May 13! We’ve had a week of summer even (that likely explains the lack of blogging). The garden is coming along nicely. I’ll add a current photo to the end if I can.
We spent a week at my parent’s place because the Man is going to a conference nearby. It was a good chance to visit friends in this part of the province as well as have a little holiday. One morning, the Boy and I went for an “adventure” out at our cottage. He enjoys the outdoors and we want to encourage that. In the city we don’t get out to the forest as often as we might, so I thought we’d try going for a little hike. I wasn’t sure if the Boy would want to walk as far as I thought he should (and really hoped that I wouldn’t end up carrying him home) – but we was a great little hiker. Hopefully we can encourage him to walk some more and slowly be able to stop having to use the stroller.
It was a perfect adventure for a two year old and a fun way to spend the morning with the Boy. I should look for some short walks around home and check them out when we get back. As long as there are sticks and something to poke with them, I think that we’d have a pretty good time.
Last year, the cycling advocacy group I’m a part of (Citizens for Safe Cycling – http://www.safecycling.ca), decided to organize a spring event called “tulips on two wheels”. As part of the event, we decided to order t-shirts for the volunteers. I had an idea for the shirts that, with the help of a graphic designer at “the SAM group” in Ottawa (http://www.thesamgroup.ca/), we were able to turn into a neat logo for the event. (I recommend the SAM group for this. I gave them a very rough sketch (see below) and for $35.00 (plus we had to order a certain number of shirts) they created this great logo for us. When I asked for a copy of the digital file this year they were happy to give it to us to use as we wanted. We ordered more shirts for our event this year and I’m sure we will continue to give them our business, while we continue to run this event.)
I loved the logo, but didn’t entirely like the way it looks in only two colours, to this year I started fooling around in GIMP and figured out how to add the colour to the tulips. I think it’s a big improvement.
I’m really pleased with the design now, and I think we’ll use this logo for various purposes for several years. I like that it is obvious that we’re from Ottawa as soon as you see it.
And now we’re using it on promotional material not just related to “Tulips on Two Wheels” – but for all Citizens for Safe Cycling promotion. Here’s the banner, in print, that got me working on the logo again this year.
We also need to give a shout out to Stephen Cretney at “http://theforest.ca/” for helping us with the final file conversion to CMYK before we printed the banner. We didn’t have software to do this conversion and it was necessary to do it prior to sending the banner to the printer. Stephen, you’re awesome! Keep your eye out for this logo to show up on other CfSC promotional material in the near future.
For the second year in a row we joined my sister and her husband and two other families for a trip to Beantown Ranch (http://www.beantownranch.com/) for the Cabane A Sucre experience. (This was now a couple weekends ago… I’m getting slow on my posts. I seem to be doing other things than writing with my free time.)
Growing up in southern Ontario, “sugaring off” was always something that was noted in the spring. There were sugar bushes to visit – I think the nearest one to us was in Paisley, as well as Maple Syrup Festivals. And while I was certainly aware of where Maple Syrup came from and when it came when I was young, we didn’t really take part in any of the festivals.
The Cabane a Sucre experience is a little bit different than the Maple Syrup Festivals of my youth. It is more centred around a meal. A meal in which you get many traditional breakfast foods. A meal which can be happily called the “plate O’ brown” as, other than pickles, there are no vegetables in sight (unless you count the home fries!). There are also many different variations on pork products including ham, sausage, and the best – pork rinds – which, I think, are just a VERY crispy form of bacon (deep fried bacon?!), eggs and of course, pancakes, on which you can pour your maple syrup. If this isn’t enough, there’s sugar pie for dessert. It’s all a very yummy and decadent meal, not haute cuisine – but good, nonetheless. As a lover of brunch you don’t have to ask me twice.
After the meal they offer rides on a horse drawn wagon through a loop through the forest, past some trees tapped in the traditional way, with spigots and buckets which ends with a maple taffy treat, spread out on ice and then rolled up with a stick.
For the two year olds in the crowd (of which we had three) – the horse ride is AMAZING. It was so fun to see their eyes light up at the sight of the horses. The entire process of riding on the wagon was just fascinating to them. It’s funny, because it’s not like I ride on a wagon pulled by horses very often either (like once a year, at the sugar bush!) – but it’s just so lovely to see these things through their eyes. It is definitely one of the big joys of having children!
The best moment of all came when we got into the shack for the maple taffy. It was being given out by an older gentleman with a white beard and a ‘coon skin hat. He had on pants with suspenders and a red shirt. The Boy looked at him with big eyes and asked “IS THAT SANTA?” He couldn’t believe it. He’s been looking for Santa ever since Christmas and couldn’t believe that he had finally found him! We told him that he would have to ask him if he was Santa when it was our turn. When we finally got to the front of the line the Boy was watching the man’s every move. We gave him a prompt – “ask the man your question” And he did – “Are you Santa?” The man just nodded and we said – “wow! it IS Santa” – and his day was made. So there you have it. Santa moonlights making maple taffy in the off season.
So, Cabane a Sucre – a fun eastern Ontario/Quebec tradition. I know that we’ll be taking our kid for many years to come.
I just noticed that each knitting post has had a similar title, with very different punctuation. No consistency here folks.
For the next sweater I went back to intarsia, where I said I wouldn’t go again. I get a little carried away with the design and never really think about how hard it will be to knit. This one wasn’t so bad. There weren’t that many strands to carry at the same time. I used a very random selection of yarn for this sweater – so had a few tension problems.
This sweater was for friends who’d spent time working as naturalists on a sailboat on the west coast of British Columbia. They had even had their wedding on a sailboat and I was lucky enough to attend. It was beautiful. They were ahead of the curve in childbearing and their first daughter was born before I started making custom sweaters – that meant that # 2 deserved a sweater. Inspired by their wedding and summers on the boat, I came up with the idea of a sail boat with big fish jumping on it. Some of the whale photos they brought back from their rips were simply amazing. I don’t actually have a photo of this kid wearing the sweater – so we’ll have to use our imagination. If I knit this again I would likely use more consistent yarn types and change the colours a bit, I’d also try to move the sun out from under the collar. It’s not the most amazing sweater I’ve ever knit, but like all of them, it was knit with love.
The sailboat wedding was in 2005. I knit the sweater in 2010. Happy memories all around!