So we arrived in Vancouver for a two-week visit to the westcoast and found it snowy. Luckily it has mostly melted, so we can continue our tour: the city, Maple Ridge, Mission, Seattle, and Victoria.
On Dec 21 there is always a big multi-site solstice celebration in Vancouver, which is one of my favourite events. Professor Banjo and Hot Pluto Jazz trio played, and the grand finale was Urban Haida drum group accompanying fire dance. Perhaps 2017 will be the year I put together my hula hoop and acro-yoga skills and take up fire dancing.
Graham and I also took his parents and our youngest nieces on a tour of the Fraser Valley Eco Dairy. We learned about their bio-digester and methane fuel/compost production, as well as animal husbandry. Linnea was really interested in the robotic milker, and Jasmine was brave enough to let a cow lick her with a long, scrapey tongue.
This statue of a running guys gets dressed up every year. Once it was optimus prime, which was a real favourite.
While I took next to no photos from the wedding in Toronto, I did take some photos at the Royal Ontario Museum. We saw the Chihuly exhibit, which included about a dozen massive illuminated blown-glass installations. Cool!
We also went to the first people’s exhibit and the Pacific Islands exhibit, as well as a special exhibit on the gender/sexuality fluidity of wakashu in samurai-era Japan. They have whole floors and wings we never got to see. If I lived in Toronto, I would absolutely get a year’s membership and go a bunch of times!
Since we were there on a weekend, there were some special events including a parade and interpretation of flags from Ghana, complete with singing and dancing.
It’s been a while since we went to Leif and Christina’s wedding in Toronto. This wedding was for our National Teammate Jason and his lovely bride Rebecca. There has been a lot of travel this Summer and Fall so far, and more coming up.
As the wedding was approaching we realized we didn’t have appropriate outfits and also didn’t have a lot of time to figure that out. Graham ended up ordering a custom suit online, he plugged in his measurements and picked out the finishings he wanted and they sent him a suit in the mail. It turned out pretty nicely, and the jacket fit me well enough that I may order one as well!
It was such a lovely wedding, complete with 10-course banquet, that I didn’t take ANY photos. Just enjoyed it!
The first time I remember going to a thrift store was with my Mum and my Nana, the summer I was 4 (or so.) It was at a St Vincent de Paul in Langford on Vancouver Island, and was a favourite of my Nana’s to visit after grocery shopping in town. We looked through the varied array of items for treasures, tried on outlandish things and things we’d actually buy, and generally had a good laugh together.
Value Village was a mainstay not just for halloween (though it was that), but also to get clothing allowance to go a little further and to get something no one else had. I thank my lucky stars I was a teenager during the 90s, when thrift shopping made you THE COOLEST (especially since I would have done it anyway, even if it wasn’t cool). Also thank goodness that my Mum was not alarmed by the outlandish fashion sense of my cross-dressing, african-headscarf wearing teenage self. I have had great thrifting outings with my high school buddies and my Mum; I’ve learned some great ideas for thrifted fabric and how to use ‘all parts of the sweater’ from Margot and Anita, all with the ethos of ‘waste not want not’ and ‘frugal is smart’. I loved thrift shopping in Sweden and got tons of cool stuff, like our Swedish sofa/chair and the boots and jacket seen here.
I haven’t been thrifting with Mum for a long time, but occasionally she and Graham’s mom Bernie get together and go to ‘the boutiques’. Favourites are the women’s shelter coop in Mission, and the Mennonite Community Council Store in Abbotsford. They seem to have a blast, and much of the awesome hand-made ceramics in my cupboard are fruits of Mum’s searches.
In the internet age, one can engage in ‘online thrifting communities’ to find out what your local thrift shop has in stock, ‘hunting trophy’ blogs where people show the coolest things in thrift stores like this one in Sweden, and blogs all about how to repurpose old stuff. I have been doing some thrift shopping lately, showing a grad student where to get furniture and housewares and getting a few things for the new apartment. I have even prepared a ‘refashion’ of my own for your enjoyment:
DIY how-to for a wool cushion cover
So, the ‘two thrifties’ in the title could be Mum and Nana, me and Mum, or Mum and Bernie (the common person in all these pairs being Mum). I’m glad to have learned to avoid waste and to find utility in used things, it is a good value to have and I think I am better for it.
Here’s to you on your birthday mom: they don’t make ’em like they used to!
As if moving at the beginning of September wasn’t busy enough, we also moved at the beginning of October, upgrading our Saskatoon place.
It is a lovely spot, in a very quiet modern building that seems devoid of stoner-neighbs. We are on the 10th floor, which seems quieter, cleaner, and also has a view of the river and the University. When it is dark we can see the Canadian Light Source, like an urban aurora.
I really like the blond hardwood floors and all the windows, the for-real laundry set-up, and the MASSIVE kitchen. Although it is bigger than the last place we have donated and craigslisted a bunch of things so that we still have space and air inside.
We’ve unpacked everything and set it all up – we even got some plants. Come check it out!