All Tuckered Out

Anyone else work in an office staring at the computer all day? It is the opposite from physical work yet it is so tiresome to use your brain so much in one day. Sometimes even a walk feels like too much for me to muster up but of course I always feel better after a stroll in the sunshine. Since it's been a busy few months at work for me convincing myself to get this space updated has become a bit of a challenge! I'm not going anywhere but I may need to slow down a tad bit until this big project is over. I think my eyes will physically not let me look a computer screen any more than necessary! In the meantime here are some photos from some of the aforementioned walks...

And quite possibly the saddest photo I have ever taken.


On Cats

I wouldn't call myself a cat person. Although, as a child I would always say my favourite animal was cats because everyone else said theirs was dogs and I felt cats didn't get as much representation in the childhood-favourite-animals poll as they deserved. In truth, I am an every animal kind of person. I had so many pets as a kid. Everything from the usual dogs and cats to the lesser kept scorpions and turtles. A parrot, goats, pigs, pigeons, doves, chickens, turkeys, hamsters, and straight up mice round out some of my animal friends. My personal favourite was a goose named Al Bundy who was best friends with a pot-bellied pig named Tulip. I still think their utter devotion to each other should be a Disney movie. 

Now-a-days I live in a small apartment so I have no pets. I still consider the animals at my mom's to be my "pets" though but there are only a pack of cats and their two dogs that live their now. I say "their two dogs" because the cats are fully in charge of the joint. I am always fascinated with an animal's "story". Many of them lead more interesting lives than most people in my mind or maybe I just spent too much time hanging out with animals as a kid!

Bebe: The sweetest cat locked in a tiny kitten's body. 

Mom: I did a whole post on her story here.
Ted: Contrary to the name she is Queen of the Jungle 'round here.
Ninny: A hyena of a dog.
Cat-Tail: A bit of a glutton. Her and Ted cannot stand each other.
And Ted again because those eyes.
And yes, all the cats are clearly related... I would have to draw a family tree to illustrate it. Something about the thought of creating a cat family tree made me go have a talk with myself about crossing some mental boundaries into becoming a crazy cat lady.


Moraine Lake, Alberta

I am carrying on with my unintended Alberta Lakes theme that I seem to be doing these last few months. Moraine Lake has the most stunning water. It almost doesn't seem real. When we hit Moraine it was nearing the end of adventures for that day. We had been canoeing on Lake Louise so the short stroll around the lake was a welcoming end to our day before we went to Banff for supper. David managed to get another Grey Jay to land on him. Birds never want to land on my hand! He didn't even have any crumbs to bribe it with. Just literally held out his hand. Annoying. 

I have a feeling October is going to breeze by. Between pottery classes, marriage prep classes, and working overtime to finish some intense projects I am spent by the end of the week! Perhaps this will make winter fly by, which is always good in my book as an Alberta winter tends to drag on forever...and ever.

Don't mind my hair. It always manages to work itself into a mess.


Columbia Icefields, Alberta

As I have lived in Alberta for my entire life I am a bit late to the party that is the Columbia Icefield, which feeds eight separate glaciers. It was my first drive down from Jasper to Banff and on our way stopped to walk up to the Athabasca glacier. It was insanely bright. Big blue sky mixed with snow and ancient ice leads to a lot of squinting. The breeze that came down off the glacier was significantly chilled but it made for a nice break an unexpectedly hot day. Along the walk there are markers set as to where the edge of ice was at certain years. Its quite dramatic to see just how far and fast it has been receding. I also quite enjoyed looking at the rocks we were walking on and seeing the lines etched into them from said receding ice. You can also tell where the ice had been up the sides of the mountains. The hard rock has been simply ground to gravel and left piled up on the sides. It was simply amazing to see how drastically melting ice can change a landscape!


Wedding Thoughts on: The Dress

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I have mentioned before that I am planning on making my dress. Am I crazy? Probably. Am I cheap? Definitely. Of course I joke that cheapness was my main reason for dress making but there are actually many reasons I choose to go this route.

- I wanted an experience of creating something I was really proud of.
- I am picky with my dress specs. I did go to a few shops and asked of they had 3/4 length sleeves with tea length. Every one I went to said no so that saved some time.
- The experience of squeezing into too small dresses or being harnessed up into too large dresses just didn't appeal to me.
- I just like to sew and create!

I wanted something unique, something I loved, and something very specific. After I recovered from falling down a rabbit hole of Edwardian wedding dresses, I found two that I wanted to base my dress on. Luckily after a few searches online I found a Butterick Pattern that would fit the bill on sale for $2.99!

The simplicity of the Ms. Pomeranz dress is what really drew me to it first. I like the longer sleeves and the shape. For awhile I planned on just making a replica of this (in white) but some part of my brain was convinced I should have lace despite not really loving any lace out there. Then I found dress number 2... While the long length of the dress and see through sleeves weren't for me, that lace was amazing. Can you call it lace? I don't even know what to call it but I love it.

With my dress idea nailed down my mom and I went to go get the material. I was dead against satin because I usually think of it as too shiny and too hot but finding a fancy-feeling plain white fabric was proving to be difficult. Everything was kind of blah. When I found myself draping fabric around me in the tablecloth section I took it as a sign and reluctantly headed over to the satin section. Amazingly, there is such thing as a medium weight, non-shiny satin! It was getting close to rush-hour so I took the fabric and ran.

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There was nothing that suited my lace needs (not even in the curtain section). So I went back to a store I had previously seen something similar in only to find it on the sale rack for 60% off! It's not exactly the same as the square lace but I think putting the "stripes" on the vertical will make me seem longer anyway. Which is my biggest goal in life.

Now I have no excuse to not get started on it. Can we all collectively hope I don't mess it up?!

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Cost breakdown:
-Satin - $78.70
-Lace -  $49.50
-Interfacing - $15.00
-Notions - haven't bought them yet but I only need a zipper and horsehair braiding for the hem.

Side note: I also found that adorable book at the thrift store for $0.50. It looks really dated but it actually has some good info about styles for every body shape and fabrics by season. Ok... I bought it because it was cute!


An Unexpected Guest

This was another stop on the 'Jarvis' tour. The stormed had rolled off and we stopped for a quick photo by the Jarvis Creek sign. As a future Jarvis I decided to get in on the sign photo when a deer photobombed me! He made a big splash in my first one which startled the bejesus out of me in the second one! Can you spot him in both my photos?


Learning From My Garden

I think I mentioned somewhere back that on the 8th of September we had a severe frost which wiped the garden out (even the stuff we had covered up!). Thanks Mother Nature. Since then we have been having sunny, hot weather so I am trying not to think about how much more growth our garden could have seen if it didn't decide to go all winter on us there for a few days.

We managed to do a big harvest prior to the frost and these are our spoils. We have been vegetable gardening for three years not and have learned so much but there is still lots to learn every season. When I first started I had three 4' square raised beds. I grew radishes that I left too long and they turned to petrified wood, broccoli that got infested by flies, and carrots that barely grew. From that failed experience I learned to read the seed packages and actually research what can be grow in my area. Seems like a no briner but I like to learn the hard way.

Here are a few things we learnt this year:
  • Plant more carrots! We are almost out of carrots already!
  • Less spaghetti squash. It just didn't taste that great sadly.
  • WAY less turnips! We are never going to eat all these turnips plus worms have gotten into the bottoms which is common in our area. The tops are still good and they grew to mutant size but there are sooooo many!
  • Try butternut squash next year.
  • Plant kale sooner. I was going by the internet (which never lies of course) and it said to plant in August but I think that was just too late for Alberta. My kale never really got going.
  • Do spinach in a planter on my deck instead of in the garden space.
  • Parsnips just didn't germinate AT ALL. Weird? Maybe old seeds?
  • Harvest the corn a bit sooner. The first week we harvested it was great but by the next week it had gone quite chewy. I should have picked it all while it was good but I ended up still freezing it to add to dishes anyway.
  • Only do two plants of each zucchini type. With the help of co-workers we managed to eat all the zucchini but too many for just us.
  • I also slacked and let the cucumbers go a bit too long. Some had turned yellow but I can still harvest their seeds for next year. 
  • Make a sunflower patch. All summer while we worked in the garden we could watch the goldfinches eat from the sunflowers. It was so nice to have them singing around you. The sunflowers also brought a ton of bees to garden to help pollinate. 
  • Try planting rosemary alone. My rosemary stayed tiny all summer. It was in a shared pot so next year I may try it alone to see if it does better.
  • Don't bother starting turnips or spinach early in the house. I wasted a few seeds on some very pathetic attempts at growing. No need to start them early, they grow like weeds once they were out in the garden!