The Great Lakes of North America

Beachscape

We went to the north shore of Lake Erie this past Saturday, to Port Bruce (quiet and quaint) and then Port Stanley (delightfully tacky). Lake Erie isn’t that far from where we live. In fact, we live only an hour away from two of the Great Lakes of North America. An hour west will get you Lake Huron and an hour south (well, maybe a little more than an hour) will bring you to Lake Erie. I guess that’s the reason this town always gets a boatload of snow in the winter, more than most other areas in Southwestern Ontario.

Oh, and we saw hundreds of tundra swans! They were on their way to their summer playground in northern Canada after spending the winter down in Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Awesomely beautiful creatures, they are.

And now, 5 links (I’m all about 5s these days):

  • Scientists: Less ice on Great Lakes during winter. That’s too bad. I love it when the lakes freeze over.
  • Great Lakes Storm of 1913. “[It] killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships, and stranded 19 others.”
  • Lighthouses of the Great Lakes. I have been to a few of them and hope to visit many more. I love lighthouses.
  • Lake Erie’s ghost ship. Interesting story with a touch of mystery and Port Stanley is part of the story.
  • Great Lake Swimmers. One of my favourite Canadian bands. Their new album will be released the end of this month. Yay!

Dreams are nothing more than wishes

Soaring

Because I’m feeling mellow and homesick, I’ll make a list of things I wish I’d thought to bring over here with me when I left Indonesia 5 years ago:

  1. My good, old blanket that my mum bought me many years ago and that my brother back home said he hadn’t seen for a long time;
  2. Pictures of my mum (because my memory of the way she looked is fading);
  3. Pictures of me from when I was a toddler;
  4. The carved, wooden jewelry box with all my mum’s jewelries that she left me when she died (no gold or diamonds in it, really);
  5. My copy of Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window (reading that book always makes me feel happy).

Also, I’m jealous of everyone who still has a mother and of other Indonesians living abroad who receive a care package from their family members back in Indonesia every now and then (I never did).

Things to be grateful about:

  1. I have an awesome husband;
  2. My computer has been behaving ever since it got a new processor;
  3. I can take pretty pictures and make pretty things;
  4. I’m not broke;
  5. I have an awesome husband.

The Story of a Quilt

Urban Landscape

I have this ability to make up a sad background story for just about anything. The latest one is about this bag of vintage quilt materials, mostly already cut into a bunch of equilateral triangles, that I picked up from a thrift store this past Saturday.

Once upon a time, there was a grandma who liked to spend her lonely time cutting various fabric into equilateral triangles to be sewn together into quilts. But then she died and her family who didn’t care much about quilts sent her belongings, including her quilt materials, to a Salvation Army that later priced her hard work a hefty 99 cents. She must’ve spent hours of her precious time cutting all those materials and yet it only worth 99 cents! Actually, it was more like 50 cents (it was a half-price day for green tag items). I thought it was so depressing that I have made it a project to make a pretty quilt throw out of it, just to make myself feel better.

Anyway, I’ve been looking at free quilt patterns since and apparently there aren’t too many patterns that use equilateral triangles. In fact, I didn’t find any patterns I could use at all. I only found some pictures of what people did with them. The Millennium Pyramid Quilt and this zigzag one are especially interesting. But damn if they don’t look like a lot of work. The former is more so than the latter so maybe I’ll try to make a highly simplified version of the latter. I’m sure it would make the unknown, potentially dead grandma of my story proud of me.

5 Good Things Friday

Big Sky

I did 5 Good Things Friday for the first and last time on December 1, 2006 but I think I’m going to start doing it more often because it’s actually a good blog fodder. Not to mention that it helps me count my blessings. So here goes:

  1. There’s a garden festival going on in town. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as I’m currently obsessing over gardening. I’ve bought more gardening books in two weeks than I care to admit. Let’s see if I’ll be able to resist the temptation to buy Ed Lawrence’s book. Ed Lawrence has his own gardening show on the CBC called Gardening with Ed Lawrence. Listening to him talking about pests on the radio is strangely soothing. He will be at the garden festival this weekend.
  2. I’ve posted this link on Facebook and Twitter but I thought I’d share it here as well: how to make seed starter pots out of newspaper. This site seems to be down more than it’s up (thanks to GeoCities) so if it’s down, try again later. It’s worth it! I’ve made about a couple of dozens of them already out of our free local weekly newspapers. I’ve found that the Stratford Gazette makes better planters than the Stratford Beacon Herald. The Beacon Herald planters have an awkward size.
  3. Our couch might not be the comfiest couch in the world but every time I lay down on it in the evening wrapped in a blanket with the TV on and with Troy sitting in the same room with me, I can’t help but falling asleep. It’s not the couch that makes me fall asleep. It’s the ambiance. It kind of reminds me of falling asleep on my mother’s bed in the afternoon while she was sewing or marking tests next to me. Definitely a good feeling.
  4. I’ve been making more money by doing nothing than I did working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with my last employer back in Indonesia, and it was supposed to be a well-paying job compared to many others. I guess it’s good in a sad kind of way. I surely hope that the salary standards in Indonesia have improved since.
  5. I come from a family who loves fish but now I belong to a family that isn’t particularly so into fish. Sometimes I feel kind of deprived, which is the reason I could go on eating the same seafood dish with rice for days. This week, I’m feasting on anchovies. Troy, of course, doesn’t like the smell. Well, too bad for him! He doesn’t know what he’s missing. Anchovies are good, especially with hot chili sauce and warm white rice. Yum!

So, what are your five good things? Care to share?