Monday, July 31, 2006

Vacation Stash

There have been very few signs of spinning and knitting projects lately. Pictures of the vacation stash enhancement will have to do for now.

First off: Yarn from MacAusland's Woollen Mills on Prince Edward Island. This yarn was exceptionally priced and I grabbed a bunch. I also picked up a little book on Nova Scotian knitting patterns. My only regret here is that the actual mill was not open as it was Canada Day weekend.

Next are goodies from Baadeck Yarns, Nova Scotia. Some sock yarn, hand lotion and a lovely shawl kit from Fleece Artist's Sea Silk. This stuff really does smell a bit like the ocean. Not unpleasant at all...more like the whiff of a memory of a very nice vacation.

Yet more goodies from Gaspereau Valley Fibres, Nova Scotia. Knitters/spinners who live anywhere near Wolfville are very lucky. This is a charming shop in an old farm building. Some Fleece Artist roving (65% wool, 35% silk) and some acid dyes found their way into my basket here.

One of the hotels we stayed in had a nice gift shop. On the second floor, were many, many knitted and other handmade items. They were knitted by an obviously very talented lady named Wendy from Newfoundland. I must admit, I sat down and counted stitches so that I can reproduce the headband. I really, really wish I had had one of these when in Toronto last winter. I just love how neatly the ear flaps are knitted in.

Stuff from Lettuce Knits in Toronto: More sock yarn and some really lovely dyed silk hankies dropped into my backpack. The hand lotion mentioned above should come in handy to smooth out my hands for my first attempt at spinning 100% silk. My Mom fell in love with the silk (and she has never spun and doesn't knit anymore).

I spent the entire evening at Lettuce Knits. It was a Wednesday night so they were having their weekly SnB. Knitters are wonderful people who made me feel quite welcome to hang out with them. Not only that, but they know where to get one of the best burritos I've ever had from a little shop around the corner. Among these Knitters were Laurie (who dyed the silk), Denny and Amy Singer (from Knitty). There were many others, but I know I would forget some, so won't name anymore names.

As far as I'm concerned, not only is Canada a really great place to go on vacation, but it's a really good place to go on a yarn crawl, too!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday Sky

You know, I'm beginning to scare even myself...this makes three weeks in a row that I've managed to remember:
1. It's Saturday
2. Take a picture
3. Get it posted.

This week, we even have two pictures. One that I took and one courtesy of The Weather Channel. I'm located between Rochester and Buffalo (closer to Rochester), just below that splot of red. Actually, it didn't really amount to much, the storms were moving so quickly that there just wasn't time for them to cause much of a ruckus!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Face-to-Face With Another Blogger

One of the highlights of my recent vacation was having lunch with a fellow blogger, Lene. Meeting someone in person that you've only been able to exchange notes/comments with is an interesting experience. You have already discovered that you have some things in common like pets, hobbies, and are easily distracted by (sometimes) the oddest things.

My Mom was with us and the conversation ranged from books, to neighborhoods, to pets, to maps, to families, to Monty altogether pleasant and wonderful way to finish up a vacation.

I am really quite shy and have a tendency to just clam up and/or freeze with indecision when in a new situation. Here's my tip: If you ever get the chance to meet fellow bloggers, suck it up and go for it. You won't regret it!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend List (Again)

Well, let's see how well we did...

1. Forget about work: Mostly

2. Picnic: Perfect. There are no pictures as I was too busy gabbing, eating, knitting and spinning.

3. Laundry: Done. We got a new dryer about a month ago or so. However, I hadn't used it at all because I usually hang laundry outside to dry in the summer. I finally used it this weekend and am completely amazed. Not only is it huge (the drum looks twice as big as the old one), it has a light inside the drum (amuses me to no end), but it dried the towel load in less time than it took the next load to wash.

4. Weeds: It rained all day Saturday, so I'm off the hook!

5. Flaming: Done, like I mentioned, it is kind of fun and definitely satisfying to burn the weeds into oblivion! Probably not a good technique if you live in a fire danger zone, though. Since it rained today, most of the ash has been washed away, leaving a pretty good looking sidewalk (for a change).

6. Bunny Cages/Bathrooms: Well, nobody's perfect...maybe tonight.

7. Saturday Sky: Done

8. Public Market: Done, I came home with a whole carload of salad fixings, breads, cherries (sweet and sour) and blueberries. Some of the sour cherries have been made into Stephanie's suggested Sour Cherry Upside Down Cake. This is a keeper of a recipe...very good.
9. Vacuuming/Sweeping: Another grim task not done.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Sky

There could be a trend here; this is the second week in a row that I've managed to get a sky picture up on Saturday.

However, I didn't check it before the sun went down and discovered that, for some reason, the picture was bright pink. It took some doing, but now it kind of looks like it did. Let's face it, a fairly uniform gray sky is just not that photogenic!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Weekend List

Here's my list for the weekend. As weekends go, I imagine it's going to be the same as usual: big list, lots of things to get done, most of them not done by the end of the weekend.

1. Not think about work: It's been a long week as not only was I just back from a lovely vacation, but got the news that 25% of our department is about to get laid off. Wonderful, at least they say they're going to let us know one way or the other by the end of August. This is a change from the usual way this company works...they often leave you hanging for 6-9 months before notifying anyone.

2. Picnic at a friend's place near Keuka Lake. It's a spinning/knitting bunch, so is bound to include much fun and really good food!

3. Laundry: Maybe.

4. Continuing the never-ending battle between me and the weeds: I would still like to know how the weeds grow twice as fast and twice as big as anything else.

5. Flaming the patio and sidewalk: This is actually kind of fun. My DH got me an oversized torch that you attach to a propane tank. I use it to burn off the weeds that appear in the cracks between the bricks. This is good to do even after you use RoundUp on them. RoundUp does kill the weeds; however, their now brown remains are still there, looking unkempt.

6. Cleaning bunny cages and bathrooms: Same job, different locations.

7. Try and remember to take a picture for Saturday Sky (and actually post it on Saturday).

8. Get up at a reasonable hour and go to the Public Market. It's that time of year when I really crave fresh veggies and salads, but am totally unwilling to pay the high prices in the grocery store. Maybe I can find some goodies for my Sock Kit Swap pal, also.

9. Vacuuming/sweeping: I love my dog, but she sure is good at dragging in the outside. Maybe I can convince DH to do this chore : ) !

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stuff I Like About Canada

1. Canadians: Friendly, polite and just plain easy to be around.
2. Beavertails
3. Prince Edward Island: If you get the chance, go.
4. Cows: Not the 4-legged kind, better.
5. St. Lawrence Market in Toronto: I just love a great market.
6. Peameal on a Bun: The closest US equivalent would be to pan-fry Canadian Bacon in butter, pile onto a really good roll.
7. Cape Breton: Another gotta go place.
8. Lobster Rolls: Got to be the best, easiest and neatest way to get your lobster fix.
9. Really great yarn/fiber shops: Gaspereau Valley Fibres, Baadeck Yarns, Lettuce Knits, MacAusland's Woollen Mills
10. A small burrito place around the corner from Lettuce Knits: Not only do Knitters know their knitting, but they know where to get really good food, too.
11. Lots of Signs: When you're a tourist, it's very helpful to have lots of signs for route/road numbers and attractions (especially when your traveling companion is not that good a navigator).
12. Butter Tarts: I'm not going to get into a discussion on whose are the best, if they look good, they probably are!
13. Poutine: Unlikely enough, but it does taste pretty good on the right day (like cool and rainy). In my humble opinion, it's only as good as it's ingredients (the better they are, the better the poutine).
14. Tim Horton's: They're everywhere and life is just not worth living without iced capucchino. OK, so there are Tim Horton's in western New York, but not as many.

It sure sounds like I ate my way across a few provinces, doesn't it? Gimme a break, I was on vacation for 2 weeks and there are 3 meals a day!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


We discovered, a few days too late, that Moncton is a pretty good place to stay to check out New Brunswick. There's a fair amount to be seen in the city, it's easy to navigate around, plus it's not that long a drive to get to other attractions.

We stayed at a hotel that is right on Moncton's tidal bore. I continue to be fascinated with just watching the tide come in and go out. It's a pretty good way to spend time...pull up a chair, a beer and your knitting!

Magnetic Hill is a classic touristy-kind of thing, but fun anyway. We had a snack of beavertails. Beavertails are a Canadian improvement on fried dough. Instead of just offering cinnamon-sugar as a topping, everything from sugar to bacon/cheese is offered as toppings. I stopped reading the choices when I got to maple butter.

I'm really beginning to wonder why there are these over-sized animals all over the place. The sock encountered a moose and a puffin.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Another PEI Post: Woodleigh Replicas

Woodleigh Replicas is an attraction on Prince Edward Island. It's a pretty neat place with lovely gardens and replicas of various buildings from England and Scotland.

Years ago, as a teen, my family went to England on vacation, so it was especially interesting to see some of these buildings again (although on a much smaller scale).

The sock was thrilled with Woodleigh as most of the buildings were just his size. This is going to be a really picture-heavy post. There were just so many photo-ops for the sock.

First thing, the sock scaled the walls of Glamis Castle, followed shortly by getting put into the pillory.

Undaunted, the sock hung out at St. Paul's Cathedral, followed by being shown the Tower.

The sock finally settled down to more benign pursuits, like thatching a roof. He also caught up with the gnome (who was taking a break from Travelocity) and helped him do a bit of gardening.

Finally, the sock took a much needed break at the the Flying Dragon Inn. Thank goodness for that, it was getting tough keeping up with the sock!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Sky

Lookee here! I'm actually posting a Saturday Sky picture on Saturday!

It looks impressive, but it went away on it's own. Good thing, things are still a bit damp from last night's rain.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Whale Watching off Cape Breton

I'm pretty sure that if you go anywhere near Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Maine, you are required to go on a whale watch. That's OK, as I had never watched a whale.

Mom and I decided on Captain Zodiac Whale Cruises out of Cheticamp. We saw both Minke whales and pilot whales on our trip.

Upper right is a Minke whale tail. These whales are pretty quick and don't stay at the surface for very long. I am not very quick, so only caught the tail in a picture.

Later in the cruise, our captain found a whole pod of pilot whales. We could see 5 of them at once. Sometimes it seemed like they were almost close enough to reach out and touch them.

I mentioned earlier that whale watching appears to be a required tourist activity. To be honest, I often run from such things. In this case, I would definitely go on another one. Especially on a Zodiac, where you can pretend you're bombing around with Jacques Cousteau!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bay of Fundy

Next stop on our trek through the Maritimes was New Brunswick. We stayed very near the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy. Here are some of the "Flowerpots" with water at almost high tide. The tides in the Bay of Fundy around Hopewell are over 10 meters (35 feet).

At low tide, you can actually walk on the ocean floor around these flowerpots. I find this pretty mind boggling, not to mention a bit muddy. There's still some Fundy on my shoes.

Another person on the beach pointed out that there were hermit crabs around the rocks. Of course, the sock had to say hello. The hermits were, well, hermits and didn't want to come out of their shells.

Our motel was kind of interesting. For some reason, there was a giant stork-like bird in the sitting area between the restaurant and the gift shop. The sock decided that, since he has a "lifeline", he would risk posing with the bird.

The Sock Leaves NS

The sock had quite a send off when he left Nova Scotia. I think he's going to be missed, don't you?

Another Saturday Sky on Monday

Do we see a trend here? Every day is a Saturday when you're on vacation. Not only that, but I didn't have internet access on Saturday.

This is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada. It was sunny and nice that day, which is a real break for those living in that area. I heard that it's been excessively cloudy and wet.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nova Scotia

It's been raining quite a bit in the Halifax area lately. Thankfully, today it was bright and sunny. This morning's adventures included Peggy's Cove and the Memorial to Flight 111. The sock really enjoyed getting out of the car and into the fresh air. We also spied a seagull. The scenery around Peggy's Cove is every bit as spectacular as advertised!

I could have spent all day just wandering around the area and stopping, often, to take pictures to remind me of it later.

The other high point of the day was Gaspereau Valley Fibres. Terra tipped me to stop here. I'm finding really good tips for vacation stops are coming from other bloggers. Knitters, spinners and weavers who get to call Gaspereau their LYS are very, very lucky people. Since I am my father's daughter, I did not, of course, get directions before we left. As we were going past the road that I later found out was the one we wanted, I did feel drawn to it. I wonder what my Mom would have thought if I had followed my instincts to turn down that road and followed it to the wool? Some Fleece Artist roving attached itself to me this time. Again, I think there will have to be an entire post on souvenir fiber and yarn.

There were many tempting places to stop and have lunch, but we settled on Fredie's Fantastic Fish House and it sure was! The sock encountered his first lobster roll (and possibly the best ever). We sat at a picnic table with another lady and her Mum from the area and enjoyed our lunches and good conversation. She tipped us to try out the bakery next door. Since I can't seem to pass by a bakery (not unlike not being able to pass by anything fibery), we're having blueberry scones for dessert tonight!

In the interest of performing a reasonable comparison of what makes a good lobster roll, my Mom wanted to try out another eatery. Yes, McDonald's is everywhere and in Nova Scotia has McLobster on the menu.

Fredie's is way, way, way better!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cape Breton

Cape Breton (Nova Scotia) is yet another beautiful place. We stayed at a "resort" this time. While we were waiting to take a boat ride, I saw a bald eagle (but wasn't fast enough to take it's picture) and some kids were catching crabs & starfish on the dock (I was fast enough for that).

The boat toured around Bras D'Or near Baddeck. We saw where the bald eagle nest was, near this lighthouse.

The sock posed on some decoratively arranged lobster traps and such.

The sock was mightily impressed with Baadeck Yarns, too. I took a picture of it with the sign, but it appears to have been lost into digital never-never land. Some of Fleece Artist's Sea Silk (or is that Handmaiden's?) attached itself to me. It wouldn't let go.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Potatoes are a really big deal on Prince Edward Island. A really, really big deal. Hockey is also really big, but it's summer, so we won't talk about that. This is outside the PEI Potato Museum. Yes, there really is a museum devoted to potatoes.

This is what happens when potatoes go bad. They get put into little coffins and displayed for all to see. Not only was there one little potato coffin, but there were many.

The museum was surprisingly interesting, especially since whoever set it up has quite the sense of humor. The was also a "Potato Hall of Fame". This may have limited fame as at least a couple of the members' pictures were behind a refrigerator and a microwave.

The sock was more interested in actual potatoes. The sun was starting to dry out the dirt from the rain the night before, so it's not showing up as red as it is really.

Some enterprising soul has even come up with the idea of dying shirts with PEI dirt. Yep, I did buy one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Sock on PEI

My knitter took me on vacation and has actually let me out of her purse to check things out. Prince Edward Island is a grand place for a relaxing, lovely vacation. Every place we went was just beautiful and we met some nice folk along the way. This is the view from the inn where we stayed.

The sign said there was no beach access here, but there kind of was. This is Cavendish East. There is a picture of Cavendish West on the Saturday Sky post.

While on PEI, we visited the Mill Store at MacAusland's Woollen Mills. The store was quite nice and my knitter scored some yarn to add to her stash. Unfortunately, the mill wasn't going to open again until Tuesday. Or perhaps that's a good thing as who knows how much wool would have been coming home with us. I'm sure there will be a separate post on vacation stash enhancement with souvenir yarn. We also visited the Potatoe Museum (who would have thought?) and Woodleigh Replicas and Gardens. Each will have their own post, as I had quite a good time.

Canada Day was quite pleasant during the day, but it did rain at night. I sure hope no one minds that I'm checking out the Canadian flag. We went to dinner in North Rustico, where I posed with a fisherman and his lobster. The fisherman was nice, but I have my doubts about the lobster! Afterwards, we listened to a band called Bootleg (and very good they were) . Fireworks followed and they managed to finish them before the skies opened into a total downpour. So glad that we were able to watch from the car and not get wet.

Proof of Cow Tipping

A few days ago, on John's blog, there was a bit of a discussion about whether or not cow tipping was for real or just a rural legend. John supplied a link that suggested that it was likely a legend. However, while on vacation on Prince Edward Island, I found proof that cow tipping exists and I managed (by quickly whipping out my camera) to take a picture!

Saturday Sky on Monday

OK, so I'm a few days late for Saturday Sky. We're on vacation and the place we were staying on Prince Edward Island was having trouble with their network. This is from Cavendish Beach West (and was at least taken on Saturday).