Saturday, 29 December 2018

Christmas cats and Savory Donut Tasting

Aimee sent me some Christmas pictures from Edmonton. The kids do not look that enthused. Who has time for pictures when Santa is coming!

Seriously! A picture before they have even opened their stocking gifts. That's a lot to ask.
Nicola and Carla came down and helped me decorate the Christmas tree before everyone else arrived.
New stuff to explore; Rasta's first interest was the boxes that gifts had arrived in,
next it was the decorations on the tree
and then the gifts themselves (especially in they were in a bag).
13 for Christmas dinner and gift distribution. Chaotic and fun, lots of food and conversation.

Then, on December 27th, Christine hosted a Savory Donut tasting at her place. There were Beware of the Cat signs posted with the caption "I look like I want you to pet me but really I want to bite you" (She didn't bite anyone)

The event was held to help Christine decide which flavours to offer when she opens Flipside Donut Cafe and Bar in the Distillery District.
Taylor, Chris' chef, has been developing savory donut flavours and we were offered 8 different ones.
She has to whittle it down to 4 to start out. I loved the Salmon and Dill but don't think it made the cut. I actually liked all of them, the Coconut Curry and Pad Thai were both delicious.

These, Taco and Nacho Cheese, were my least favourite.

We all filled out an online survey and her preliminary analysis looked like Taco, Nacho Cheese and Salmon and Dill would not initially be served. Everyone seemed to like the 2 that had pork belly on them and the Cheese Board was also very popular.  She will be holding a Sweet Donut Flavour tasting when she is open, hopefully in February.

Back at home I finished "Stack of Wool", designed by Ingrid Heronimous.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Edmonton - Grandchild fun

Edmonton was kind to me again with sunny weather between -5 and +5. Very, very icy though so I didn't do much walking. Aimee had finished at the RCMP and was starting at Ikea so had most of the week off and we spent almost every day Christmas shopping.
Poor Iggy had a skin irritation and had to wear "the cone of shame" which made cuddling him quite a challenge and he is a cuddler.
They showed off their Halloween costumes. Avery as a dinosaur skeleton
and Maya as a swan. Photos by Aimee.
Maya has hit "the terrible twos"
now she's a bit of a "drama queen"
and quite the ham.
It is still difficult to get a picture of Avery that isn't a bit blurry
he is constantly in motion.
While I was there I made Maya a felt Christmas stocking. Now everyone in the family has one. A tradition started by George's mum.

With the leftover yarn,  I made her doll a blanket.
All she wants for Christmas is a baby doll. So, of course, I got her one. Avery just wants a Robot Dinosaur (he will be getting one from Santa)
Family fun at The Rec Room, a huge arcade centre. Too crowded and noisy for me but the kids  (both generations) love it.
These last photos are all taken by Aimee on the family vacation to Las Vegas and Disney, California, last summer.
They drove down; 4 adults and 2 kids in 1 car.
Stopped in Vegas on the way.
Even Aimee has a hard time getting a picture with out Avery "blurring".
Where as Maya is quite happy to lounge.
I am told she was happy that Daddy bought her a large package of M&Ms but she doesn't look like it.
Hopefully they will get to Long Point Beach
next summer.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

New Orleans road trip - Day 26 and 27 - Dayton and home!

We had a fabulous meal with Aimee's cousins (3sets of them) on Saturday night and then played some cards. Sunday we shopped Barnes and Noble and the Christmas Tree Shop (one of Aimee's favorite stores) and picked up some Christmas presents.
Then we had lunch with some more of Aimee's cousins (these may have been removed or 2nd or something) at a rib place (something Greg had been hoping for ever since we got into the States)
Dessert was a hit - oreo cookies, dipped in doughnut batter, rolled in chocolate rice crispies, deep fried and served with icing sugar, ice cream and chocolate sauce. They just melted in your mouth.
Monday we were up and on the road while it was still dark and drove 7 hours home to Aimee and Greg's place near Paris. We hit lake effect snow after crossing the bridge in Port Huron/Sarnia but it didn't last long.
It was a great trip. It is nice to travel with your home. A different motel every night never feels like home but the trailer started to. We were surprised by what we found at some of our overnight stops (the military park in Vicksburg, the art gallery in Montgomery) and realized that there are thousands of interesting places anywhere we might stop in the U.S. We all loved New Orleans. There was so much to do there and it had a hybrid U.S./European feel due to its Spanish and Portuguese heritage. We ate a ton of shrimp and it was larger and tasted better than the shrimp we get at home.
I got much more comfortable driving the trailer and getting it hitched and unhitched, though I liked being able to stay in a place for a few nights at a time rather than constantly moving.  We tried to have a balance of time together and time apart and each of us pursuing our own interests.
I have a few days at home now before flying out to Edmonton to see Mike, Aimee, Avery and Maya.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

New Orleans road trip - day 23, 24 and 25 - Dayton, Ohio

Another travel day and now staying in a motel for 3 nights as there are no campsites open at this time of year near Dayton. Aimee has relatives here that she hasn't  seen in a while and will do some visiting. I am spending the first day enjoying being in a solid room, having a long, hot bath, rug hooking and reading while it pours rain outside. I'm  glad I'm  not driving in that.
The trailers are parked right in front of our rooms so last night we played cards in theirs as it was more comfortable, for that, than a motel room. Tonight I will go to dinner at Aimees cousins, who I have heard so much about.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

New Orleans road trip - Montgomery Museum of Fine Art continued

Aimee and I took a break at this point and went looking for coffee and something sweet but ended up with a glass of wine and a cup of spicy chicken chilli soup in the museum cafe.
We headed next to the sculpture garden that had just been completed and opened in September.
On our way we passed through a room with some huge pieces of art. This was about 10ft high. Red Fish by Leonard Koscianski.

I nearly passed this by, thinking it an interesting abstract,
but noticing details like this made me re-examine it and conclude that it was a painting of a motorcycle windshield, beautifully done. Royal Chevy by David Parrish.

We took this for driftwood at first but it is cast bronze; Isabelle by Deborah Butterfield.
Three untitled ceramic pieces by Jun Kaneko at the far end of the reflecting pool.
Hollow Sphere Theory by Randy Gachet.

Stainless steel Circular, by Casey Downing Jr, reflected the sky and the ground cover.
The garden was quiet and peaceful. Made you just want to sit and enjoy it, and the art around. While Aimee sat there the sculpture, Oval, by Craig Wedderspoon, went from silver to the colours reflected from the sky and the garden.
We swung by the glass exhibit again and then made our way to the permanent collection.
Politics by Frederick Warren Freer. You can almost hear the argument.
A Tiffany floor lamp
Voices of Silence by Jimmy Ernst.
New York Office by Edward Hopper.
Greyhounds Playing by William Hunt Diederich

Hills Before Taos by Georgia O'Keeffe
1121-1110 = 110 (Standing Donut) by Jaehyo Lee.

Celebration of the uncultivated - garden of the wild by Roger Brown.

We had watched a movie on Kudzo, a particularly invasive vine, in the art gallery in New Orleans, and seen it growing and encompassing the trees at the side of the road as we drove and here it was depicted in glass. Pitcher with Vine by Beth Lipman
We spent hours and hours in the museum and were disappointed there wasn't more.