Monday, January 9, 2017

This and That, the January 2017 Edition

There's a fresh coat of snow outside, repainting the landscape a clean, bright white. If only the sun would peek through the clouds, it would be a perfect scene.

As it is, the day is overcast and sombre. Thankfully there are tasks within that keep me occupied, and some outdoor activities after lunch to shake off the lethargy.

In the course of my morning work, I sorted through some recent photos. Let me share a few with you.

Curled icicles

I was curling in Armstrong (a nearby town) on December 30. My first game was shortly after 8 a.m. and so it was still dark, barely a hint of sunrise, when I arrived at the rink. The building has a metal roof, and as is common in this region, the snow is often soft and water-laden. It slides off metal roofs in a gentle curl. The above photo is such a snow curl with a wicked twist. Frozen icicles followed the curl, and look to me (a former farm girl) like a pick-up reel on a combine. A savage one at that.

Our little community has been steadily working at fundraising in order to put a roof over our outdoor skating rink. Not only will it extend the season for our users (it is a very popular winter activity) but will make the site an all-season venue.

The latest fundraiser was a raffle, offering three prizes: a cut-and-wrapped meat package, a propane barbecue and a generous gas card.

I sold many, many tickets, and The Husband bought several; I bought one. The prize draws were made at the local New Year's Eve dance (which we did not attend, as it's far past our bedtime!). Guess what.


The Old, on its way to our recycling centre.

Yes. The Husband won the barbecue, which was the only reason he bought tickets (well, and that he's a generous community supporter). I'd long been campaigning for a new barbecue. The old one is really old, and having provided us with hundreds of excellent meals, is barely limping along.

Behold:

The New, ensconced in its place of honour.
If that wasn't enough, I won the gas card. Oh yes. I can only imagine the reaction in the hall. No matter, I'm on my way later this week to visit The Son and his family up north, and it will come in very handy indeed.

I watched a TED talk just last night about the mind of procrastinators. You can see it here. And yes, I am a 'goal oriented' person, so it hit pretty close to home. As witnessed by this:

New and old handmade quilts:
the darker one underneath the work in progress is 100 years old,
made by one of The Husband's great-aunts.

My first grandson's baby quilt. I say "first" because he's already 2.5 years old and there's a new version on the ground already.

I started the little bug quilt quite awhile ago, and then set it aside for the summer ... and got stuck into other things ... and then right around Christmas looked at it in severe guilt. A guilt quilt, if you will. With a promised visit looming, I had a date and a goal.So what you see is an almost finished project. The white chalk marks in the blue band are the stitching lines for my needle to follow. Tonight will see that done, and tomorrow morning the quilt will be washed, all the chalk marks will be gone and the quilting pattern will be revealed as the batt inside fluffs up.

January is when the Christmas clutter (for that is what it becomes after the season) is removed, and the house returned to what passes for normal. It's an opportunity to do a good cleaning, and bring out different items to brighten the house, rearrange displays.

These are a legacy from my mother to her children and grandchildren, and the current display on the old sideboard:

Mom's legacy.

They are Amish-style dolls (simple bodies, no faces) that she crafted from a huge antique linen tablecloth that belonged to her great-grandmother. The cloth had some holes and wear, and how, she thought, can one share a single item with many people. The answer was dolls: 10 of them. The bodies and dresses are made from the cloth. And as if that wasn't special enough, she handwrote a card explaining the history of the dolls, then laminated them and pinned one on each doll's back, under the dress.

The ones in the photo are mine, my daughter's, and the one with the yellow ribbon was the doll she made for herself. I look at these and think of her every day.