Monday, July 25, 2022

In Praise of Libraries

 I discovered libraries when I was about 8. I loved them. You could go and get books, read them, and take them back to exchange for more books. By the time I was 15, I was spending so much time in the library that they hired me, and I started making $0.90/hr. to hang out at the library! It was a tiny branch, with a staff of 2 at any given time. In our free time, we were expected to read, so I always had a book under the counter. 

I went to university, where libraries became a place of research, or a quiet place to work away from my residence room. 

As an adult, I took my kids to the local library, I volunteered at the library, I even served as a Library Trustee for a brief period. I love libraries.

In these interesting times, I have been ordering lots of ebooks from the library. They are great because they return themselves.

Last week, on another blog, the author mentioned an article in the new issue of McCall's Quilting. My first thought was to try to buy a copy. Silly because I have been recycling all kinds of quilting magazines, lately. So, I decided to see if they had a digital copy at the library.

I now have a digital copy on my tablet, that I can read for three weeks, then it will check itself back in. I can even set a notification so the library app will tell me when they get the next issue. I think my magazine buying days are over!

Meanwhile, the weather has been really hot here (well for Canada). Last week, we got to 30.5 C. Quite a stretch from there to our February -25C. So, I have been knitting.

Baby socks take no thought and go together quickly, and a friend has a new grandbaby. Before long, babies will need wool socks again.

I also bought some yarn for Christmas gifts.

Ancient Arts was having a sale on some misdyed skeins. They look okay to me. I see these as a shawl/scarf and a pair of Border Collie socks.

I disn't post my last minute pretrip sewing.

I made a bunch of hand santizer pouches to give as hostess gifts. I like the Tula Pink teacups. I think I may modify the pattern to make cell phone cases.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

A Trip West

 As I told you last time, we headed west for a gathering of the clan. Lots of pictures were taken and I will share a few.

In Victoria, we stayed in a condo apartment complex. The gardening around the building was wonderful.

The tree on the left is a Dogwood, floral emblem of British Columbia. The one on the right is a California Lilac, a popular hedging plant in Victoria.

I also discovered that Dogwoods come in pink, too.

The condo had a lily pond and it was just getting ready to bloom.

Oddly, although there were lots of benches through the apartment gardens, we never saw anyone sitting on the benches (except us).

It seemed that nearly everywhere we went in the city, we had to go around Mt. Douglas.

I liked the sun shining on it at sunset.

While in Victoria, we did some geocaching. I think we found a total of 10 caches. Our biggest achievement was to climb to the top of  Observatory Hill to find caches.

This is the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. It was opened in 1918. You can read more about it here.

The walk to the top and back was about 4.5 km and the rise in elevation was 167 m. We were fooled by the cache posting that said the cache could be done in about 30 minutes. If you drive to the parking lot inside the fence, that is possible, but we were there on a Sunday when the road is closed to cars. I'm pretty sure I got my steps in that day. We didn't see very many people (mostly nobody) but we did see a couple of bunnies and this lovely.

We saw a second one on the way back down the hill. We were surprised that it looks like the deer we see here except eastern deer have white tails and western deer have black tails.

This was the view from the top, looking down.

We also spent time in Parksville, which is the home of Rathtrevor Beach.

At low tide, the tide goes out a very long way.

You can observe little sea creatures in the tide pools.

You can build sandcastles.

Or, you can enjoy the wonderful views. 

The purpose of the trip, and the gathering of 4 generations was to celebrate a very special event.

It was the 90th birthday of a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. We decided to do it up in style.

On the way home, I was reminded of how vast my country is. While flying east, overnight, I awoke at about 2AM (maybe it was 3) local time, somewhere over the middle part of Canada, to see the sun rising in the north.

How cool is that?

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Travel Adventures


I have been traveling. The last time I travelled anywhere was in October, 2019. Needless to say, this trip was very exciting.

I haven't travelled a whole lot, but having a bi-coastal family means that I've made a fair number of trips within Canada. One thing I know for sure is that one should never expect air travel to go smoothly.

My flying experiences started when I was in university. I was a co-op student and standby plane tickets in those days were about $25. So I used this when flying between my parents home and my co-op placement in Ottawa. On one trip, the plane landed at Peterborough and couldn't take off again. The airline offered a bus for the rest of the trip. (a 20 minute plane ride, 3 hours by bus). Most of the passengers made other arrangements, but the two starving students on the plane were going to be travelling by bus. Fortunately, a couple of businessmen with a private plane offered us a ride. So, I took a 4 seater to Ottawa, arriving about 2 hours after I was suppose to, but on time for work the next day.

A couple of years later, I took a trip to Vancouver to visit a friend who had moved there. The airline decided to go on strike while I was there. I ended up buying a standby ticket back to Toronto via Seattle, Chicago, and Detroit. Again, I arrived in time for work the next day. I now always fly with my passport.

I have had other adventures where getting home has gone less then smoothly. This time, our flight from Victoria to Calgary was going to arrive in Calgary about 2 hours after our flight from Calgary to Ottawa was going to leave. So we took another route home that saw us drinking coffee in Vancouver for a considerable length of time. At least we found reasonable good coffee.

So, what have I learned? Besides the passport, first off, be polite. The passenger agents are likely just as frustrated as you are. Start by asking for help. In this case, I asked if they could get me home. They checked and found that even if they sent us on to Calgary there were no seats to Ottawa on a later flight, or the next day even. So they sent us to Vancouver, where there were seats on the overnight flight to Ottawa. 

Secondly, be flexible in your plans. We have been upgraded by a passenger agent, and I think it was because we were not asking for anything but a flight home.

Finally, Canadian airports are a mess right now. The security people are unhappy and are taking it out on the passengers. If you don't need to fly, stay home. If you do need to fly, try to avoid major centres like Toronto or Montreal. 

I will be hiding in my house for the next while. However, it was worth the aggravation and delays for this:


Two of my favourite men, planning their activities for the morning! More BC pictures, soon.