Wedding Celebrations

I can’t believe that it’s been 6 days since the wedding and I haven’t done a blog post about it, but life has been so full on that I just haven’t had the opportunity.

I didn’t take very many photos myself, so I’ve had to rely on photos from wider members of the family to be posted to our shared photo site in order to have some to use.

In every way it was a perfect day. The weather was superb, the planning went off without a hitch, the bride was gorgeous and Isla enchanted everyone.

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The wedding ceremony was held in the back yard of Tanya’s parents – with a lovely view over north west Calgary. Tanya used an old treadle sewing machine for the document signing, which was decorated at the base with flowers in a gorgeous old wooden box by her Grandmother, Beth.

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Friends and family gathered around the arbor for the ceremony.

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Tanya and Gareth with the JP (we would call her a celebrant in Australia).

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Three proud parents look on. The fourth was upstairs on the balcony taking this photo!

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After the ceremony the bridal party and immediate family headed out to a park for photos.

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I’m not a tiny person – my son is a giant! The canola in the background reminded me so much of home.

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The girls of the immediate family – 4 Canadian generations are there.

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Grandma Nancy and Grandma Chris were kept pretty busy throughout the day!

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I just love this photo of the three of them taken at the reception.

When the floor was cleared for the first dance, Isla watched Mum and Dad from the sidelines for a short while then joined them on the dance floor. She pretty much stayed on that dance floor dancing and cavorting about til the wee hours of the morning, taking just a short nap to recharge her batteries!

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My cousin, Anne and husband, Robert from Mansfield in Victoria joined us for a few days around the wedding day and it was such a treat to have them there to join us in the celebrations. In his earlier world-wandering days Gareth met a lovely Australian girl in Scotland where he was managing a youth hostel. They’ve remained friends since then and she and her husband also flew over from Australia for the wedding.

The happy couple headed south for a brief honeymoon in Watertown, right on the US border. Coincidentally it was Anne and Robert’s next holiday destination too, but I don’t think that their paths crossed as both were busy hiking and taking in the sights. The grandmas and Great Grandma Beth took up Isa babysitting duties and loved every minute of those few days. There were one or two occasions too when the phrase: ‘what happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s’ was heard!

The excitement is over and family have, or still are, returning to homes in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Australia. Our very best wishes go to Tanya, Gareth and Isla and hope that the wonderful success of their wedding day is an indication of successes in their future.

Til next time…

Chris

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Heritage Park, Calgary

With wedding preparations well in hand, hubby and I set off yesterday to spend some time at Calgary’s Heritage Park. We learned a lot about Canadian history, had a ride on a heritage train and a gentle paddle round a lake on a paddle steamer.

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I sit on the extremely disinterested end of the petrol head spectrum, but even I was impressed with Gasoline Alley.

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Mostly, though, I was interested in things more related to domestic history.

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What a magnificent stove this was.

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But thank goodness laundry days no longer require one of these!

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There weren’t a lot of quilts that were easily photographed.

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I have hollyhocks planted randomly throughout my garden, but I now have a new goal. Don’t they look wonderful as a group planting. If you are reading this and your hollyhocks still have some seeds on them, please save them for me! I don’t have this many colours.

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It’s Friday night here in Calgary. Family and friends are arriving and getting to know one another. We had 11 for dinner tonight so there was lots of chatter and getting to know you conversations. The Australian contingent is in the minority so it was nice to catch up with them and their travels throughout Canada during the last few weeks.

Til next time, with some wedding photos….

Chris

 

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The Big Day Looms….

…and everyone has has a list of tasks to do. The biggest one was getting the front garden looking its best so it was all hands on deck pulling out the fire pit, dead-heading the roses and finding temporary homes for things that regularly ‘live’ outside.

While we were in Idaho, Nancy purchased a lovely old stove and it was our job was to set it in place and do some plantings around it.

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It’s soooo cute.

Even Isla lent a hand with scrubbing the fire pit clean.

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Tanya’s Grandmother had made up a beautiful rustic arbor. Tanya’s brother brought it all the way from Saskatchewan on the back of his truck.

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One of Tanya’s gazillion tasks for the week was to decorate the arbor. After a trip to the local Michael’s store (yes, I loved it! Spotlight without all the fabrics, furnishings and notions) we are ready to go with Saturday morning’s decorating.

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That’s Tanya’s deep in concentration look you see!

The weather has been glorious all week, as was the forecast for the coming weekend. Was. Tonight’s forecast indicates that we should be prepared for all contingencies!

Til next time

Chris

 

Be Still My Beating Heart…

Our time in Spokane was brief, and hot, but we crammed in as much sight seeing as we could.

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We stayed at the iconic Ruby Hotel. There was a very obvious Beatles theme – visual and audio.

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We took a gondola ride over the falls along the Spokane River, then stopped by the historic carousel.

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It was too hot to walk far, so we strolled along the river.

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Gareth and Tanya picked us up first thing this morning for a quick trip back over the border into Idaho where they have been holidaying in this cute holiday house.

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Tanya and her Mum, Nancy.

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And Isla.

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Wouldn’t this make a gorgeous studio? It stores bikes and kayaks….

Guess where the first place my wonderful daughter-in-law to-be took us? An antique mall! She’d been by it earlier in the week and recognised some textile items that she thought might interest me.

Oh me, oh my!

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves. Vintage linens, vintage quilts (maybe one antique quilt that may or may not survive the rest of the day in the mall), works in progress, quilt blocks and a range of sewing paraphernalia.

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Til next time…

Chris

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Today’s Other Highlights

We started off the day visiting the Boeing Factory. What can I say? (I can only say it because there was absolutely no photography allowed).

The factory itself is 0.5 km wide and 1.6 Km long. In volume it is the largest building in the world. You can fit California’s Disneyland and 12 acres of undercover parking in the one building, which sits on over 900 acres of land. When you look down from the viewing platforms into ‘rooms’ full of assembly line 747s  and other jets it’s easy to run out of words to describe the experience. I’m not even going to try. It was pretty awesome.

However I did get one photograph. It’s Boeing’s 100th birthday this week, and we got to share some birthday cake. I don’t know how many they baked – I saw at least 6.

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On the drive back we asked to be dropped off at the Space Needle.

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Going to the top wasn’t on our agenda (besides which the queue was enormous), but beneath it sits another awesome exhibition. The Chihuly Garden and Glass is a museum in the Seattle Centre, showcasing the extraordinary glass work of Dale Chihuly. Photos don’t seem to do it justice – it’s both an internal and external exhibition. Here’s just a taste – and thanks to Faye Packham who said that it wasn’t to be missed. It wasn’t….

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I’m pretty much touristed (my new word) out, so tomorrow I’m just going to wander. Probably into some shops, but anything is possible.

Til next time…

Chris

 

Pike Place Market Fish Throwing and Other Wonderful Sights

We first visited this market last Saturday, but literally the crowds were so overwhelming that once we’d navigated its considerable length with few stops we left. It was a constant sea of people with almost no chance of getting near any of the stalls. We’d particularly gone there to see the fish throwing but there was no chance of observing that.

So we went back this afternoon and had a really lovely time, enjoying the crowd this time as well as all the stalls. Some of the produce was so unlike anything I’d previously experienced.

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These elephant garlic bulbs were the size of grapefruit!

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In contrast, these baby potatoes were like beach or creek pebbles. Absolutely gorgeous and such a range of colours. In size they would be somewhere between a large marble and a walnut.

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Very unusual looking Italian broccoli. It resembled coral.

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Donut peaches!

The whole market area was incredibly bright and colourful. Love these chillies…..

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And….we did finally get to see the fish throwing. We had absolutely no idea what to expect, but stood around like dozens of others waiting. We missed the first throw because of this, but I had my phone ready to capture video the next time!

The guys on this fish stall obviously share a great sense of humour. Here’s one of their signs:

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And just outside the Market was this sign. Love it!

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There are dozens and dozens of non-produce stalls too, and this for sale item caught my eye. Wouldn’t see this one at home!

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Til next time….

Chris

Spending a few days in the U.S.

It’s been a whirlwind few days since we left Australia – and at last I think we’ve settled into our new timezone. For a few days it was a bit challenging – we left Sydney at noon one day and arrived in Vancouver at 3pm the same day, despite spending about 15 hours in the air. That was one looooong day.

We’re now in Seattle, having taken the Amtrak train down the west coast from Canada- a really pretty ride. We were quite surprised at what a difference it is entering the States by train as opposed to by air. Our luggage was scanned, but we weren’t!

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Beautiful architectural features in the Railway Station at King Street, Seattle. I wonder why the ceilings in railway stations are so high?

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And you know that you’re in the US when there’s one of these at the end of your corridor!

Seattle is a treat – it didn’t take long for us to work out where things were – but when I booked accommodation I was more focused on being close to the railway station than downtown so we have covered A LOT of kilometres in two days.

We went to the Pike Place Markets yesterday but they were incredibly crowded so we plan to go back during the week when hopefully it’s a little less crazy. The famous fish throwing didn’t seem to be happening despite  a dozen or so cameras being trained on the fish stall so we’re hoping to see that too.

Today we were in total tourist mode. We started the day doing the Underground Tour. Seattle was originally built at sea level. Mmmm. Not someone’s best idea. The founding fathers resolved the problem by raising the city’s roads to the first storey level thus creating a web of undergound businesses from old first floor buildings and along the original roadways, the remnants of which can be seen today.

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Above this ceiling is the current sidewalk.

Then a harbour cruise around Elliott Bay in glorious sunshine. I’d almost forgotten what sunshine and blue skies looked like. If you live in Adelaide, here’s a reminder. I’m told that it’s still rather wet and cold at home.

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We took the long route home past a glass blowing studio and watched, entranced, as beautiful glassware came to life.

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It was hard to get a clear photo, so apologies about the quality.

Hubby wanted to come to Seattle for one reason only, so for the next two days it’s his choice of tourist attraction: we’re visiting the Boeing Factory tomorrow. Hope I like all things aeronautical because it’s the Aeronautical Museum the following day.

Wednesday, this girl is going shopping! I still don’t have a complete wedding outfit and I’m running out of time to find a bottom half. I needed a summer outfit for a July wedding in Canada, but at home our shops have been full of winter clothes for about forever. Wish me luck.

Til next time…..

Chris

Celebrations Ahead….and some sad family history revealed

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This is a first for us – a wedding invitation that requires a passport. We’ll be the groom’s parents so it wasn’t an invitation to decline! The bride and groom-to-be left Brisbane today, just a tad anxious about surviving the long flight to Canada with a toddler.

It’s been a busy time helping out in Brisbane and then coming home to get things organised here. My life has revolved around endless lists which are fortunately filling up with checked off items. We have house sitters coming in to care for the house and pets while we are away so one of the biggest tasks has been to write up the ‘house sitters text book’. I hope I’ve remembered everything!

The kids asked each of their parents to sort through family photos for ones of them growing up from babies to teenagers. They intend to set up a display during the reception, which I think is a lovely idea. It’s been an absolute delight re-living old times through our photo collection (which I must organise more effectively. One day.)

A much harder request for me was finding generational wedding photos for another display. We have a real mixture going back to one of our grandparents’ but sadly I discovered that there are no wedding photos of my own parents’ wedding day. A telephone call to my aunt in England revealed that, typical of the times, a ‘baby on the way’ wedding in the early 1950s wasn’t always accepted well by the wider family and in their case certainly not celebrated. In fact, on the day they were married my Dad’s parents chose to go to their local football team’s match instead! I felt so, so sorry for my Mum and in a way I wish I hadn’t found out this bit of family history.

Til next time,

Chris

I’m Getting Absolutely No Quilting Done….

….. because I’m spending time in Queensland with my gorgeous little grand-daughter, Isla. Dad has been away working for 2 weeks so Grandma paid a visit to keep the girls company.

We’ve shopped til we dropped, and had some fun at the Mall while Mum was at work:

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Made curtains for Isla’s bedroom:

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Played together – Isla in her cardboard box,

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and Grandma on her trusty Elna Lotus.

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I carefully pack my trusty travel companion in my checked-in luggage each time I come up to Queensland and love the convenience of being able to keep up with at least one of my projects while I’m away from home. It’s always an anxious moment opening my suitcase and hoping that all is well though. I’ve been lucky to date, but this time I’m going to leave my machine here ready for the next visit.

This week I’ve worked on the foundation paper pieced borders for my That’s What Friends Are For quilt. Getting that quilt finished in time for our Guild’s quilt show will be a minor miracle. The sewing is close to completion but it’s a big quilt to quilt on a domestic sewing machine. I might have to put sleep on hold….

It’s chilly, even in sunny Queensland, and this was a welcome weekend family activity when Dad dropped in for 36 hours.

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Dad went back to work this morning and Mum’s on school holidays, spending every spare moment planning for a very special celebration that’s happening in 4 weeks time. Stay tuned!

Til next time…

Chris