Monday, April 25, 2011

so much water!

Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba have serious flooding problems due to the unusually wet and snowy condition of the last year. Lakes and rivers are at record high levels causing many home and cottage owners major grief.

Even our own Wascana Creek which meanders though our neighborhood has turned into a swiftly flowing lake.

I took this photo in November, 2008. Here's how the same field looked late this afternoon (taken with my crappy phone camera).
Beautiful to look at but not good at all.

Our weather has turned into summer. The last couple of days have been absolutely gorgeous! We are so enjoying the balmy, sunny warmth! The downside is that I have smacked two mosquitoes already. All of the water could make this a fertile mosquito breeding season. I hope not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 rhubarb pic

Happily, yesterday's snow melted and the weather forecast is much improved for the next few days.

I noticed the first rosy shoots of rhubarb poking their little noses out of the cold, wet earth today. About time.
You have to look really hard to see them because they're still very small. I drew pink arrows to show where they are

I took a look back in the blog to see when the rhubarb came up in previous years. Last year it was April 3. I missed taking one in 2009 and 2007 apparently. Here is 2008 and 2006. I was surprised that the 2008 pic was taken on the same date as today's although the rhubarb was much further along then. Early April is more common for the start of spring.

I noticed from the sun room that one of the dogs had sneaked a rawhide outside. Austin was chewing it and Cooper used the situation to make a game of it, getting goofy and running in circles around him.
Coop is such a happy dog! Austin was enjoying the situation too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

pretty little nests

A few weeks ago, I took a bunch of fiber and dyed it in the oven. It was a mix of Corriedale/Outaouais and Targhee locks, merino, silk, and nylon. I have been slowly combing it on hand combs to remove vm. Then last week these showed up at my door.
Blue Mountain Handcrafts 4 pitch English style Wool Comb and Hackle set. I ordered this set with the hybrid comb shortly after Christmas (well before all the expenditures lately that have caused an acquisition embargo around here) and it was worth the wait. I motored through combing and blending the fiber and this is the result.
I have about an equal amount of fiber left over from the combing that will go through the carder one of these days. The chaffy stuff went into the compost pile. There may be blue fluff in the birds' nests this year*.

I was afraid that my body would protest about using the hefty comb for several hours. Although I had a sore shoulder muscle the next day, it didn't trigger a flare so I am impressed. I think the comb is well balanced and heavy enough to do most of the work for me.

This set is extremely well made and beautiful! I'm sure it will get a lot of use.

I took the above pictures this afternoon in the sun room. Although it wasn't warm outside, the sun was shining and it was pleasant. Then I looked outside at supper time and it was raining ice pellets which soon turned to snow. Again.
Click to embiggen if you want to see the snow more clearly. You know, if you have masochistic tendencies.

After I took this picture the snow got heavy and we now have a few centimeters on the ground. Winter just will not go away. I wonder if it will ever warm up enough to plant the garden this year.

*I heard the screams of Peregrine Falcons the last couple of days. I hope that they move elsewhere before the other birds have nests of babies.

Friday, April 15, 2011


After we had a few days of near normal temps, a lot of the snow had melted and thoughts had definitely turned to spring.

The downside is that the quick melt has caused major flooding in many parts of the province. The valleys are huge lakes and some people have had to evacuate their homes. There are busy highways and roads that are under several feet of fast moving flood water. It's not good.

The last couple of days have been cooler which should have been a good chance to slow down the flooding and let the ground soak up some of the water.

Instead, this is going on.
Just what we need - more moisture that the ground can't absorb.

The dogs don't seem to mind though.

Friday, April 01, 2011

five new wheels

Really. Not an April Fool's Joke.

I sold the Roberta espinner a few weeks ago, then used the funds to buy a Majacraft Suzie Pro.
It was a bit of a gamble. I sold my Majacraft Rose because it was causing knee pain. I was operating on the assumption that Suzie Pro's heavier drive wheel would provide greater momentum and my knees wouldn't have to push the treadles to keep it going.

So far, so good. I haven't spun a lot on the Suzie Pro yet but my knees have been fine with it. The Majacrafts are such lovely wheels, both esthetically and mechanically.

It was just after I bought this wheel that we learned that a major home builder here in Regina has offered our son a big painting contract. So we have been setting him up in his own business. It's an exciting time!

Dan's van, which is in good condition considering its birthdate is 1994, will now become Geoff's shop vehicle. Dan will take the 1998 van that I currently drive because he needs the room to transport his hockey equipment. That meant shopping for a vehicle for me.

The criteria was comfort. It needs to be comfortable for me to get in and out and to sit in because there are fibromyalgia days when I don't move very well. We decided to check out new vehicles so that we would get a sense of each manufacturer's seating.

That was a mistake.

After sitting in a GMC Terrain, nothing could compare. The Terrain was first produced in 2010 so there aren't used ones floating around yet. We bit the bullet and bought a new one. Here are my other four new wheels.
This was a huge purchase for us. We aren't new car people. We usually maintain and drive our vehicles until they are almost held together with twist ties. But oh, what a sweet ride it is! It has AWD for our winter roads, a back-up camera, Bluetooth, OnStar, XM radio, and heated leather seats. I can plug my ipod into its port and get my music through the "infotainment center".

I found a nifty fabric barrier that goes behind the front seats to keep the dogs in the back and a seat cover to protect the back seat from them.

All of this means that there will be no more impulse spinning wheel buying for me. I'm glad that I already have my fiber tools because my budget will be much, much slimmer in the future.

You can see in the above picture that we still have a lot of snow but it has been warm enough the last couple of days to melt quite a bit of it. There is a huge lake in the back yard. Lest we get too excited about the late arrival of Spring though, the forecast is for a huge snow storm on the weekend. Like we need any more precipitation in these parts. Sigh.