Friday, August 17, 2007

Canada Advemture: Day 2 August 17

We're still working on getting my pictures...if I had them I would be showing you the beautiful guest room that Lovella prepared for me, with the most comfortable bed and sweet touches. I'll save sharing the details until you can actually see the pictures!
Anyway, that was the room I woke up in this morning after a great night sleep. Lovella whipped up some blueberry and berry scones, delicious!

I hadn't had a chance to meet Indee the night before, she was kenneled while Terry and Lovella came to get me at the airport. This morning she was out and about, so I stepped outside to gree her.
She took one look, growled questioningly, then ran away to find Terry.
Great little guard dog!
Not to worry...I was planning on bribing a friendship with the hounds anyway.
Doggie lollipops ought to be just the ticket to the hound's heart.

Indee was completely unsure about looked good, it smelled good, but...
She kept running back to between Terry's feet.

Otis stepped right up.
Glup, gulp.
It took a few minutes of chewing, and we had two happy dogs!

After that little get aquainted session, Terry headed out to the barns, and Lovella and I had a hat trying on session with the 30 hats I had brought with me, including a few that were designated for her to own if she liked them.
She did like them!
She is such a HFP person.
(Hat Friendly Profile)

Then we headed out for a grand tour of downtown Abbotsford.
Pictures, hopefully, coming soon...
And as stop at a hat shop
(see Lovella's blog)
and Tea!
The day is not over yet, but I thought I will just post while there was a break in the action.
And by the by...the weather is warm and lovely.
What fun!
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Canadian Adventures: Day One August 16, 2007

I am still needing to get a means of down loading my pictures onto Lovellas's computer (should have brought the cables, when will I ever learn?) but I can always go back and add pictures later, right?

Yesterday I got up at 5:30 am, and was at the airport at 8 am sharp for my 9:30 am flight. Onto the plane I went, got happily settled in....and the pilot announced that because of "The Storm", Hurricane Erin, the flights were backed up, we would be delayed and more details later.

Later was an hour later, when we finally rolled onto the take off position, and we learned we were number 16 in cue. Forty five minutes later we were number six...BUT the airport had decided to move the take off directions around to avoid the storm.

AND they had given us a flight plan for which apparently we no longer had enough fuel. We pulled out of line and got gassed up as the skies boiled black, the runways lights automatically switched on in the dark, and lightening and thunder rocked the plane.

(Notice the lights on? This was about 12 noon...)

I was glad I had brought a book to read.
The title was so appropriate!
(It is a fiction about the Russian Mennonites in the early 1900's. Lovella's family were Russian Mennonites who immigrated from Russia to Canada in the 1920's, so it was a great way to get to know a bit more about her family's history.)

After they had refueld the plane, enough gas, but no one was allowed to fly because of the storm.
It was now past noon. The decision was made to let everyone get off the plane to grab lunch!
We had to be back by 2:00, and we pushed back at 2:30 onto the tarmac. I believe we were finally in the air shortly before three.

Our "meal" was then served: Cherrios.
Oh yum.
I was able to sleep a lot of the time as the plane headed to Seattle.
Above: Seattle Airport Art.
Sadly because of all the delays I had missed my Seattle Bellingham connection, and was told the next flight at six o'clock was over booked.
The flight after that one, scheduled to leave after 10 pm did have seats available.
Oh boy...and Lovella had promised cabbage rolls for dinner! I really didn't want to miss that...especially after having a sole meal of Cherrios five hours earlier.

I hated to think of getting to Lovella's so late, and in the dark. I called Bernie and Lovella and we all said a quick prayer as I signed up as a stand by passenger for the six o'clock flight.
I was assured there was NO chance of getting on that flight.

Rushing through the Sea Tac airport, I wondered if I should just relax or try to get to the gate Just in case there would be an opening. I made it there minutes before boarding began. A flood of people lined up, then they began calling names of passengers, last call for passengers...and then:

Stand by travelers: to the ticket counter!

Whoo hoo! I was on!

The flight to Bellingham was beautiful on a turbo prop plane. We landed, I grabbed my luggage, and minutes later there were Terry and Lovella at the, doors of their car flying open as they ran out to greet me!

It only took 12 hours to get there...and worth every minute.

And yes, I still got cabbage rolls!
(Pictures by Terry...thank you!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Question: What came first, the friendship or the egg?

Ever had something just catch your eye, and you stop, take a second look, and then find yourself chatting with another person who is looking too?

Last December I was visiting a few links from my San Diego friend Chris's daughter-in-law's blog. I had known Chris for over thirty years, and when her son Josh married a girl named Heidi from Canada, I was unable to attend the wedding. When I later told Chris I had started blogging, she passed along Heidi's blog address to me.

It was fun getting to know the girl through blogging though. She was writing about all the kinds of things that are important in the life of a young newly married woman. Often I would read her posts and chuckle, remembering my own journey through early marriage.

Heidi had (HAS!) a list of links to other blogs on her site. The list was the longest list I had ever seen...names of people that she either was related to, or had met at school, or from her hometown, or maybe that she just liked their blog and added it to the list.

Why I was killing time that December day I don't recall. I do remember clicking on Heidi's links and seeing picture after pictures of smiling babies, happy couples and families gathered for someone's birthday or shower.

It was like seeing the next generation documenting the beginning of their family's history...oh so young, oh so earnest, and usually rather uninteresting reading. Parties: You mostly have to be there to enjoy a party.

Then I clicked on a link to someone named Lovella.

She didn't post a picture of a baby, or a young happy couple, or even a birthday party in progress.

Instead, she posted a picture of an egg.

Now granted it was a picture of a HUGE egg amongst a dozen of typically sized eggs, but it was still just an egg, nevertheless.

Under the picture she had written:

When I ask Terry to please bring me in some eggs for baking, I'm never entirely sure what will come to the house. He'll walk in and set the tray down like nothing is at all unusual. I look at him and say "what is that thing?" to which he replies "you said you wanted eggs."
When I cracked this massive egg open, it actually had another complete egg inside. Pretty weird. I just feel bad for the hen. What would go through a hens mind after delivering that? I can't think of anything else to report about this and no I won't sit in the barn with my camera waiting for some super clucking to begin.

I had to laugh. It was so funny to imagine an egg inside an egg, and her husband Terry's droll comments. I was one of three people to comment that day, a rather long comment about a book series that featured eggs as part of the humor.

Me, talking about books. Now there's a surprise.

Lovella's humor and eye for the interesting had me coming back to her blog for another visit the next day. And the next, and the next....

Little by little I learned about her and her life in British Columbia. How she had grown up in Abbotsford, given her heart to God as a child, married right out of high school, raised two fine boys, lost her parents, and was tackling the task of middle age challenges with spunk and humor.

I learned a little about her husband, who I promptly christened her beloved Mr. T, who was in many ways like my own beloved Mr. B. Good solid hardworking men, good with tools, and with a dry wit.

It wasn't long before Lovella was commenting back on my blog. Soon our comments were longer than comments should be, and we would communicate with "Not for publication" comments, so we could read and talk more without sharing our chatter with the world.

Heidi, it turned out, was Lovella's friend's niece. After Lovella asked Heidi if I was who I said I was, and I asked Heidi if Lovella was who she said she was (both Lovella and I are cautious people...) we exchanged emails and the friendship blossomed.

It wasn't long before the phrase "when you come to visit" began to crop up regularly in our emails. When I realized I had enough frequent flier miles available to me to make a jaunt up north, I asked her if she was serious about having me come. I already knew the answer...I was welcomed anytime.

I've never gone to visit someone I have never met in person before. Save for one brief phone call, Lovella and I have only conversed via blogdom and email. Somehow though, I feel like I have known her for years. We have shed tears together, laughed, rejoiced and yes, occasionally griped about what life has served us up in our two corners of the world.

So tomorrow morning, bright and early I will be flying to Canada to meet my friend that I have never met. I am looking forward to the beautiful coolness of British Columbia, the delicious food that I know Lovella has prepared, and long conversations about everything under the sun. She and Terry have been working so hard preparing for my visit I almost feel bad for coming, yet feel honored that they have made such efforts to make this visit so very special.

We plan to visit around the area, and I'll be meeting other bloggers in the area as well. Blog hopping! How cool is that!

We will both be posting what we are up to while I am there. I hope you will join in the fun, just come back and visit our blogs,.We will be sure to post the adventure for you to enjoy as well.

The egg? Well, the egg came first...but you know something? I think it was so big because inside it was holding the beginnings of a friendship.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Millinery: New Milliner in link land

In case you didn't read Blogger Buzz yesterday, Blogger has rolled out a new feature called Profile Browser. You click your own profile (or maybe anyone, I haven't tested that idea yet) and then you click on any listed interest and it will give you the list of all the other blogs that have that interest listed.

I swear that feature used to be available way back in blogger beta days, but whatever...I'm just glad the feature is back.

Of course I immediately clicked on my interest "millinery" and up popped 18 links. Later I added hats, hat making, hat makers to my profile to try to find others who share my my interest in hats.

Those who had the specific word "millinery" knew what they were about. The other words led to some very strange folk, including one gentleman who is attempting to become a hat. As of yesterday, he has only had success becoming a cat. A very nice looking cat by the way, but becoming a nice looking cat nevertheless is not a substitute for becoming a hat.

I wish him well in his endeavors.

Of the 18 millinery interested blogs, only one was "Sisterhood of the Hoods" worthy. I've add "Glorious Hats" to my link list, with the blog owners approval, and encourage you to check out her post about another blog which posted a pattern on how to make a really sweet cut and sew hat. Oh so much fun!

I want to dash downtown to get some great men's suiting fabric and whip up one of these hats! Or maybe get two souvenir tee shirt, and make one into a hat to go with the other tee shirt.

Once I got playing around in my head with this pattern, the more excited I got.

If if that wasn't enough to keep my brain spinning creatively, I also researched veils and netting, and discovered that birdcage veils are the HOTTEST thing going. Reese Witherspoon wore one in the movie Sweet Home Alabama (it is also hot, as in warm, there in Alabama; wearing a full veil outside would probably kill the bride.) The new movie with the silver surfer also features a birdcage veiled bride.

The veil I created last week was of course a birdcage style. Most birdcage style veils that are available are actually just a little flower or bit of fluff with a veil covering the front of the face. But I did find two variations that got me very excited.

One was using the palest blue extremely delicate veil with white flowers on top. It just looked so fresh with the white gown! Like a grown up version of "girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. I regret I can't find that picture again! If I do I'll post it, but I think you can imagine it.
(Update: I did find another

The second was using a nude or skin tone VERY fine veil with soft white floral. So sophisticated, vaguely sensual, totally beautiful.

There are few places that offer veils other than the heavy Russian and plain English or French. Whenever a wispy veil bolt is found in someone's attic, usually the veil just crumbles. Give me a gazillion dollars and I promise I will spend some of it founding a company to make those wonderful old veil styles, sort of like there are now companies that will recreate vintage wall paper and mouldings and such.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on these bits of lovely (from Leah C. Couture) and have a creative day!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's hot...and it's here!

How hot is it? 100 degree F. (37.7 C.)

The site informs me it feels like it is 112 F. (44.4 C.)

It is THAT hot.

The grackles are standing around in the parking lots with their beaks hanging open. The way I caught him against the background of trees makes him look like he has his beak propped open with a little stick.
A little stick is not necessary. They stand around with the beaks hanging open without any help at all.

I want to tell them to head for the trees where it is a little bit cooler, but they seem to prefer to stand on baking hot cars and look pathetic.

I have no sympathy for them if they are going to be that stubborn.

I had to go to the grocery store. I've been putting it off for several days.
When Bernie is out of town it is possible to fake it and just nosh on what ever is in the fridge or in the cupboard. But I just couldn't fake laundry detergent, so off I went, on a Sunday afternoon, on probably the hottest day of the year.

Serves me right, shopping on a Sunday.

The place was packed with other Sabbath scoffers, and that made shopping even more difficult.

At least I can always count on H-E-B to have something amusing to offer in their store.

Today it was an alligator and a turtle made from pineapple skin, residing in the deli case.

Gotta admit, they were kind of cute!

I felt like I had shopped for an hour; my cart was overflowing with paper towels and flats of water bottles and kitty litter and such, and I was almost going to skip the ice cream aisle, when my common sense kicked in.
When the weather is this hot, at the very least I want to have limeade or lemonade fruit Popsicles available to me.
At 80 calories per Popsicle, they are a sensible treat.

Then my "common sense" handed me over to "Pay Attention!" which reminded me that Blue Bell Ice Cream had not yet released this year's limited edition of cantaloupe ice cream, and it would be a really good idea to check the Blue Bell Ice Cream section, just in case it was here.


( I don't get it: "Still a 1/2 Gal." )

Sorry I can't do more than provide you with pictures.
Maybe you can fake it with vanilla ice cream mixed with your own fresh cantaloupe.
It's a treat worth waiting for.
Especially on a VERY hot day.

And it is now 101 degrees F. outside, and it is 4:15 pm.
It actually could get a few degrees hotter before night fall.

Dear God:
Thank you so much for blessing me with air conditioning.
Thank you for Blue Bell Cantaloupe Ice Cream.

And I apologize for grocery shopping on Sunday.

PS: If you could let me go somewhere where it is a little cooler, soon, I'd appreciate it.
Thank you in advance.