Monday, 28 May 2007

Subaru 2

So I've finally registered the Subaru and have been driving it for a couple of weeks. I love how it handles on our very twisty, turny roads. We have yet to see how it will handle when those very same roads are covered with black ice - buy hey, hopefully that is at least six months away! I'm not really impressed with the gas mileage at this point but it's perhaps a bit hard to tell. We always have many corners, lots of hills and some very slow, steep bits of roadway so I need to wait to try it out on the good ol' prairie to really have a true notion of how efficiently this car is working. It seems to have lots of zip and we now have a new (to us) bike rack which we tried out last Saturday as Dave brought his bike to Nakusp for some cycling whilst (how I enjoy that very British word) I attended the Kootenay Library Federation board meeting. Happy cycling to all of you blog reading cyclists.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Reader Anxiety

This morning on CBC's radio program "Sunday Morning" there was a panel speaking about reading, reading habits and what they called "reader anxiety". I'd have to say that I think I have suffered from reader anxiety from time to time in my life - there's just so many good books out there and so little time to read them all. When I was working I'd read book reviews to get an idea about some of the books "out there" and sometimes felt as if I'd almost read the book. I'm happy to say that I seem to be over my reader anxiety. This may come from the fact that I have more time and my new location has a very small library. I'm reading more than ever and three books a week is a pretty good average. I also have the entire provincial library system at my disposal and do use it. Why am I no longer anxious about getting "everything" read? I don't know but I do know that I'm relaxed about just reading what I find anywhere.

The panel this a.m. also spoke about reading "must reads" that they've hated, etc. Everyone said they read several books at one time. I do that too. I usually have a non-fiction on the go, although my preference is for fiction. I'm continuing to read books for the 10 - 15 set and always enjoy them. I just started reading Jan Wong's Red China Blues this morning prior to this discussion. It's a book that I read a review about over 10 years ago and knew that I "should" read this book. I never got around to it. It's in my local library and our book group is reading a biography/autobiography to share with the others. This will probably be my book. I've only read one chapter but I love it and it's a book that relates very well to my generation.

I talked to Andrea bout this (Happy Birthday, Andrea) and she said she feels reader anxiety. As long as you love what you read, keep doing it. I give up on books - one after 400/500 pages - but I'm going to keep reading whatever I like and I never intend to be anxious about the should reads. Happy armchair travelling and adventuring, readers!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Clogs, Blogs, Crocs and Socks

This was the first pair of "clogs" that I have knit and the first time that I've knit with a circular needle. It was great fun and very easy to do. I knit these for my dad who is finding that his 87-year old feet are getting cold. A knitter must use real wool in the creation of the slipper and this way the clog can be "felted" so that it doesn't really look like knitting at all. It's a bit odd, really, when you're knitting because the clog looks a bit as if it's being created for a friendly giant, but it works out in the end. However, you do need an old-fashioned washing machine with an agitator and lots of hot water to get it to work.
I love having a blog and wish that I could commit to more regular posts. With summer approaching and tons of work to do outside I don't think I'll be doing any "regular" writing. However, I do really enjoy having a blog!
Andrea and Demitri purchased Crocs for Dave and I last summer and I wear them endlessly. They are so comfortable and are perfect for slipping on and off when going to the garden or coming in from the garden. I plan to get another pair - one for outdoors and one for indoors. We are constantly traisping in with stuff stuck to our shoes which is a great reason for having tile floors - the cleanup is a breeze.
Socks - I used to knit socks and gave up because I didn't really like the appearance of them all that much. However, the women who knit around here ALL knit socks and they look absolutely wonderful. So perhaps, I will get back to it because I have a number of people who can teach me now to make a good looking sock heel WITHOUT the sock looking as if it belongs on a friendly giant.

Monday, 7 May 2007

A New Window on the World

Ever since I first saw our new house - this was without any interior walls - I knew that we'd need to add another window to the master bedroom - it was just too big a room to handle only one window. We bought the window from our exterior builder because we wanted to have a consistent style in the house. Today the window was installed!! I love it! Thank you to my labourer for his hard work and he actually completed the task in the predicted half-day. Now we have another window to endow with window trim and more work to fix up the exterior of the house - just a couple of more jobs in our endless list of chores. Now we've got a north view from the lower level and I'm motivated to create a shade garden underneath it. That is being delegated to next-year country, however.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

What Should I Call This Thing?

Here is one sure sign of spring in the Kootenays - this is the plant that I've always called the skunk cabbage. The smell is very much that of a skunk. However, after reading Patrick Lane's gardening memoir, There Is A Season, he refers to this plant as the swamp lantern and I like that name much better. Do you agree? It really does look like a small lantern in the ground. When we first came out from Kokannee Cabin two weeks ago, the place where the helicopter landed had loads of these plants in bloom. In Kaslo, we're at a higher elevation and they finally bloomed this past week. I took this picture on a cloudy day - they look much more "lanternish" on a sunny day. I saw an absolute mass of them near Kootenay Lake on the way into Nelson the other day - now in the midst of a housing development. I wonder if those neighbouring owners refer to the plant as the skunk cabbage or the swamp lantern?So far, spring has been my favourite season here. The weather is certainly variable, but the numerous shades of green paint a beautiful picture everywhere I look.


Yesterday in Kaslo it was T2T Day. This means Trash to Treasures. People put out the things they don't want anymore on their street and anyone can come by and pick them up. It's a great idea and a wonderful way to spend Earth Day weekend. I didn't pick up any "treasures" because I'm really trying to NOT accumulate more things but I love the concept. Perhaps I'll have many things to give away once our projects get finished around here.My other discovery from yesterday was learning about all the new books in the Dear Canada series. This is an historical series of books put out by Scholastic Books and I've been reading them for at least 3 years. They are written for about ages 10 - 14. Scholastic has been wise enough to hire first-class Canadian children's writers to write these "diaries" which take place at a specific location during an eventful year in Canadian history. The one I found yesterday while "reading the shelves" at the Kaslo Library is about the flu epidemic in 1918. This one is written by Jean Little, one of my favourite kid authors. I've resolved to always have a children's book in my reading stack - my new little treasure to celebrate Earth Day.

Little Brother is Watching You

This post comes a few days after hearing an item on CBC's The Current on the morning of Wed., May 2nd. I tried to post that day but discovered that my blog, The Clothesline, has disappeared. After notifying Google about my issues, I'm awaiting a reply. It seemed easiest to simply create a new blog. Anyway, on to the post:

The current had an item about Face Book. Apparently, a high school student had posted some "notes" about a specific teacher on the website and was "caught". He faced disciplinary action and will not be allowed to go on a field trip to Montreal during the school year. The student and father were interviewed on the radio. The father basically feels that the student should not have been disciplined in this way because he did this in non-school time. The student did admit that what he did was wrong but was unhappy about the action taken. He continues to be a student in this teacher's class and states that he maintains "a low profile". Knowing what teachers are facing every day, I can categorically state that I'm glad to be out of the profession before everyone is "note passing" hatred about their teachers in Face Book.

During the same program I also learned that students are staging situations to anger teacher and forcing the situations to escalate so that they can post to Angry Teachers. com. Someone will video the situation from their cell phone. This is a site that I refuse to look at. However, going in as a substitue or "on call" teacher at my local high school I intend to keep my head up. The school that I get called to has lots of potential for this type of thing, I think. These kids are all wandering around in their hats, their "hoodies", and have access to all kinds of electornic paraphenalia. Would I be surprised to find myself on one of these websites? Not at all. So, teachers, it appears that little brother is watching you and looking for all kinds of opportunities to make sport of it all. Be warned, teachers.