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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spring in Calgary

As it has been raining since Monday, a little reminder is needed that it really is spring here in the Rockies.

Although the calendar says spring started on 20 March, here it wanders in sometime around May, maybe the end of April in a good year. Thus bulbs flower later than most other places in the northern hemisphere. The crocuses in the front are first; they don't last very long and I didn't take any photos. Then it seems as if the grape hyacinths in the front and the tulips in the back are coming up at the same time and the rhubarb and raspberries are starting to leaf.

The birds have been collecting the dried material not yet cleared from my garden to build their nests. We are a step away from Fish Creek Provincial Park which is home to many birds especially raptors. I don't have a photo of the peregrine falcon sitting on my back fence holding on to its prey caught in flight but I do have a photo of the next generation of mousers.

This is not the first year that owls have nested in a tree next to one of the paths so it is very easy to spot the babies. Here they are in all their fluffiness.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Off The Needles In April

Each month I aim to work the two mystery dishcloths from the Yahoo group and one sock from the Ravelry group challenge. Things didn't go so well in April. I have already posted the cowl and the blanket completed in April.

As I had a deadline for the baby blanket, I decided not to make the dishcloth for the beginning of April. After all the point is to use up the stash not to make all the dishcloths. (Which is why I have the stash - from making all the dishcloths in 2009.) As I finished the blanket before the end of April, I made the mid-April pattern. This was another pattern using two colours of yarn so I was able to use partial balls.

Although I don't think it shows the two colours as well as the second dishcloth in January it is still a good pattern to use up ends.

I am a bit reluctant to mention socks. I didn't cast on a new pair in April. I was still working on the mystery socks from March and I decided not to add to my list of unfinished projects. The photo of these will have to wait until I post photos of projects completed in May.

Talking about unfinished projects, I seem to have way too many on the go again but they all have a time and a place for when they are worked on, so I am not casting on without thought and I am not procrastinating the finishing of projects. Well, maybe apart from the beaded cast off of a shawl which will take me the rest of my life.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Election, Lacrosse and More Hockey

Last Monday there was a Federal Election in Canada. The election resulted from a vote of no confidence by all the opposition parties in the current government, which at that time was a Conservative minority.

I would really have liked to have known Michael Ignatieff's thought process behind leading this move as polls showed that there would be minimal difference in the way people voted and there was very strong public opinion against an election. Whatever his thoughts, he achieved the one thing he was looking for - change. It just isn't the change he wanted. We now have a Conservative majority government, the New Democrats are the Official Opposition Party and both the Liberal party and the Bloc Québécois lost a significant number of seats. The Liberal party went from 77 seats to 34 seats and the Bloc went from 47 seats to 4. The leaders of both these parties lost their seats. As an independent observer (I can not vote in Canada) I would say that the general population and the inhabitants of the province of Quebec did not like these leaders or their policies or both and resoundingly told them so. Although to listen to friends originally from Ontario you would not think this was the case. They were speaking as if the people really wanted Ignatieff and it was just the Albertan Conservatives that stopped it. (What about the rest of the country who voted NDP as well as Conservative?) It is also interesting listening to my Albertan friends who are fed up with being accused of blindly voting Conservative.

Anyway for me as there has been a minority Conservative government running the country since we have lived here, I am very interested to see if I will notice any difference.

Now for another controversial subject - sport. Last time I posted I said that Calgary's lacrosse team had won their semi-final game. Last night we went to the division final where Calgary Roughnecks met Washington Stealth. Unfortunately, it was not the wanted result for the Roughnecks and they went down 10-8 in a game that was not one of their best. Let's hope that this was not the last tine we see the Roughnecks play. The team is currently up for sale as the owner cannot afford to continue to pump money into it.

Oh, and there's still hockey.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Snow, Royal Wedding,Yarn and Lacrosse - With Some Hockey Thrown In

The title sums up the end of last week.

It snowed last week, not a big deal really after all it was still April but it snowed at the time a friend and I had planed to meet for ice cream. We still went as kids were involved otherwise we'd have gone for coffee.

I have to mention the Royal Wedding as it was the event of the decade or even the century depending on whose hyperbole you listened to. Whether you are a Royalist, Abolitionist or somewhere in between I am sure everyone wishes the couple well.

A new yarn store has opened in Calgary; it is called The Loop and is located in a former embroidery shop in Kensington. A group of us went on opening day - Saturday. They had a very nice selection and it wasn't too crowded when we arrived although another big group turned up as we were considering our final choices. The electronic era was definitely in evidence as patrons were looking at yarn and then using their I-Phone to check Ravelry. I saw a vibrant coloured yarn and bought some for a skirt. Looking at the yarn in the shop I thought the colour would be too much in one item and plan to buy another colour to go with it. (They didn't have anything suitable in the store.) But having looked on line at the other colours available in the same yarn, I'm thinking that I will go with just the one colour.

So if a new yarn store wasn't excitement enough, Saturday evening hubby and I went to the NLL Western Division Semi-Final. Calgary were playing Colorado. Although Calgary won, we could have coped if it had been the other way round.

And the NHL playoffs are going on or on-going depending on your point of view.