Archive for June, 2009

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tri training

June 29, 2009

Last week I did my first triathlon!  Nothing official but a good way to finish off the training program I was in  and it was so nice to get a gauge for what a real race is like without forking over nearly $100.  It was a good deal shorter than a real sprint triathlon (we did 750m swim/12 km bike / 3km run instead of 750/20/5).

I walked nearly the entire last leg since I haven’t trained for it at all and the swim took me by surprise.  I swam it rather than kicking like I do in most of our workouts and I had no idea how hard it would be to get out of the pool.  I was caught completely off guard by the wobbles and diziness and my transition was painfully slow.  It was a good bike ride (I used my mountain bike with slicks and it was still so much slower than my dahon would have been).  The “run” that I walked was okay.  I always missed our running sessions by being at play group and with my knee injury I never quite had the motivation (or the time) to run.  Since I haven’t been able to find a cheap enough luggage bag I’ve opted to just pack my running gear so I can work on it while out east.   If I’m lucky I’ll find a pool and do a bit of swimming too.  If all goes well I’ll be in shape for a real sprint tri soon after I get home.  I can’t believe I’m going to be away for nearly 4 weeks!

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sewing weekend

June 28, 2009

I didn’t finish the dress in time to wear it to the wedding so it’s shelved now.  I probably could have worn it had I not used white thread to baste it together.  I could have finished it this weekend but I’m sure I’d have to re-fit it when the opportunity to wear it arises.  That’s not fun at the best of times and concealed matching thread would only make it harder.  Plus there are the pin holes that would undoubtedly show up really well if I needed to make it bigger.

With the dress project on hold and Saturday playgroups finished, my weekend was dedicated to packing (only 2 days until I leave!) and some quick wardrobe additions.  I want to travel lightly so that means everything I’m packing needs to be able to be worn together.  The skirt that would fit the coordinating requirement isn’t comfortable enough to wear more than a few times per summer so this morning I set about making a replacement.  I was inspired to make something in a butterscotch colour with an elastic waste, similar to something I made a few years ago but that never really fit right.  I couldn’t find anything in the right colour but having a quick and easy pattern (Simplicity 7229) almost made me forget.  Yes, I’m all about the instantly gratifying type of sewing!

silk shirt and new skirtMy skirt is based on a popular pattern I found on patternreview.com.  It is supposed to have a draw string waist but I don’t much care for the look of ties dangling out below my shirts so I sewed elastic to the inside of the waist band ala yoga pants.  The overall style of the skirt isn’t overly flattering but it’s void of some of the common problems I have with skirts.  I wore it for most of the day just to be sure and it has definitely passed the test.

Earlier on in the weekend I made a new shirt from laundered dupioni silk that had been in my stash for a long time.  I had grand plans for dress shirt when I bought the fabric but I’m really not a dress shirt kind of girl.  (I can’t be bothered to iron and it’s so hard to get a nice fit with my seemingly large shoulders.)

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The shirt pattern I settled on (Simplicity 3835) was one that caught my eye two years ago when Amanda Soule posted it on her blog.  Actually the skirt is from there too but I didn’t realize that right away!

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It was interesting sewing with laundered dupioni.  It’s not near as easy as working with the unlaundered variety but it’s so much softer and easier to care for.   If I were to have sewn with it and then washed it there would have been a LOT of shrinkage.  As it was I accidentally left the finished product in the drier for too long so it shrank even more than on the initial washing.  That meant going back and removing the elastic from the sleeves to make it comfy.  The hem also shrunk up a good deal but it’s still at a nice length.  Fortunately I’d left the seam allowance in the sides so I could loosen up the fit.  I’m definitely happy with the end results but I’ll save myself some trouble and keep silk in the drier for longer the next time I pre-wash it.

Kevin took the photos tonight and it was a good “project” for Kevin too.  This is the first time I’ve  really sewn since Kevin got his own camera so it was our  first “photo shoot”.  Apart from how shiny my shirt look I’m really happy with his results.

That’s it for my weekend update.  It’s going to be a crazy next couple of days trying to get ready.  Hopefully I’ll have a few chances to post while I’m out east.

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hooping

June 26, 2009

DSCN2109In our childhood days we called it hula hooping but everything I read on-line seems to indicate the more respectful term is hooping.  Alrighty then!

As I mentioned in my last post I got a chance to try hooping when we were at NCF.  Last year a colleague had coerced me into trying at the city folk fest and to put it bluntly… I sucked at it.  I gave up in shame but had the idea of trying it again in the back of my head.

A few months ago Annie posted a how to but it took trying some other hoops at the fair this past weekend for me to get the courage to get my own.  After perusing some instructions on-line, Kevin and I went around to all the hardware stores looking for 3/4″ 160 psi pipe on Monday night but none of them stocked it and it was going to take 4 weeks to get any.  I decided to go with plan B – 75 psi pipe that is better suited to kiddy hoops.  With little people birthdays and a visit with my cousins coming up I figured I’d have enough uses for the pipe so went and bought a chunk.

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The 50 ft length yielded 3 adult and 2 child sized ones (M posted some of her photos taken well before dusk too).  The adult ones are so light and wobbly that they’re a little hard to use but with 2 evenings of practice I’m finally getting the hang of it.  Finally!

When I return from my trip I’m definitely going to be making a better one in preparation for this years editions of the city folk fest.

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solstice weekend

June 24, 2009

After work on Friday, Kevin and I made the trek a few hours north for our first camping trip of the year.  This was, without a doubt, the latest start to the camping season ever.  In one sense I’m ashamed but we’ve been enjoying life close to home and been involved in more things locally so it’s really not much of an issue.  I do miss the mountains but I’m glad we’ve had the chance to discover how much less stressful it can be to stay home and spend an evening in the backyard.

Back to solstice… this year we decided to celebrate it at the North Country Fair where a stage had just been revamped and a new playground constructed in memory of our friends’ son.  Unlike most of the bigger music festivals in Alberta this one has space for on-site camping so I was excited about spending a weekend in one place.

We weren’t really too sure what to expect at this festival but figured it would be a little more of a family focused gathering of earthy folks joining to celebrate of solstice with great music of course.  That element was definitely there but there were easily as many obscene young drunks.  Thankfully those folks were gone before the music really got going on Sunday.

I still can’t quite get over why people would pay $100 just to drink and yell at each other all weekend but there probably aren’t many things like the fair in that neck of the woods.   I just wish we could figure out a way to train them to be more respectful.

All in all though it was a good weekend with some great music including one of our new favourites Trevor Tchir.  I also got to play around with hula hoops a little bit.  Fun times!

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Oh, and during the little rain storm on Saturday Kevin and I huddled up in the back of the E to play our own music.  I wish we had the option to do videos with sound on one of our camera so we could have documented the dijeridoo, djembe, jews harp and recorder.  If for some reason we’re still here next year we’ll definitely be going back!

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holy busses

June 18, 2009

Except when I can take the Red Arrow, coach travel is certainly not my first choice for getting around the country.  It’s far lower on my list for the US but it was looking like the best way for me to get to my Waldorf intensive this summer.  Right now I’m debating which is more risky: staying overnight in a US train station or boarding the bus.  I’m thinking there might be more loose cannons on the bus than in the station.  And that’s not just because of a famous incident from last year.

This afternoon I went to the station, the .ca web, the .com web and spoke to 4 individuals on the phone.  The crazy part is that I still can’t get a ticket and got the world’s craziest run around ever for a company that’s supposed to be wanting my money!

First I couldn’t buy a ticket at  the station because it was for a US destination.  Then I couldn’t buy it on-line from the .ca site for who the heck knows what reason.  Then of course,despite numerous explanations that it would work, I couldn’t get a ticket on the .com site.    For my set of destinations the phone isn’t an option either.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who does cross-border travel but it sure doesn’t feel like it today.

After today’s dealings with the infamous bus company I’m pretty sure I need to take a closer look at the train option.  Anybody have advice for how to survive the night in a BIG city train station?

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slackers

June 15, 2009

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We’re not authentic slackliners by any degree but boy did we ever have fun yesterday!  We have friends from all over that have been documenting their slacklining adventures for us for quite a while and yesterday I tried it for the first time.

Kevin tried it with his sister and her friends and last week he picked up his own gear.  We were going to go find our own spot in the park but decided we had better check the rigging at home first.  We had a less than desirable set up but it was good for a first try.  I couldn’t seem to get anywhere without a shoulder to lean on so there are no photos of moi but Kevin’s are pretty cool.

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Our neighbours on both sides were out enjoying the fabulous sunshine but didn’t want to try it out themselves.  I’m positive they think we’re crazy now!

Slacklining is a zany game to play but it’s so much fun and the equipment barely takes any room.   I’m pretty sure we’ll be keeping it and scouting out suitable trees when we eventually start looking to build our own wee house.

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nineteen days

June 12, 2009

… well now it’s only 18 days until I leave for my summer Waldorf intensive.   Yesterday a kindred spirit shared her countdown – she’s going to California for her training – and we both leave on the same day.  Nineteen is my favourite number  and I hadn’t even realized my departure was getting that close.

I like adventure, especially when it comes in the form of budget-wise, multi-modal, multi-destination travel.  As a result I’ll get a few days with my extended family out east, two airplane rides, a bus ride and a train ride.  If I can find a good and cheap luggage bag I’ll also take my foldy bike and use it and my feet to get around at my destination.  Have you seen my bike?  It’s so cool!

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Another reason for excitement is that the decision of where to go finally came to me yesterday.  Unless something goes utterly wrong between now and then I’ll be off to Ontario in the fall!

I’m running out of time so I really must get to work on that dress.  Have a great weekend!