Sew Loving Life

My adventures in "making" – mostly sewing & quilting – and in traveling.


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Housecleaning

An Expression of Joyous Anticipation

So everyone out there who hates housecleaning — is there anyone out there who does not hate housecleaning? In any case, for all those who do hate housecleaning, I am not saying that I like it. I don’t. What a phenomenal black hole of time and energy it is! You are never really done with it; there is always something that could be cleaner or neater, and even if there weren’t, it only takes 5 minutes for the clean to become dirty again. One could houseclean endlessly, if one really cared. Continue reading


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Make 9 in 2018

History suggests that I am not by nature a social media junky. Oh sure, I have a Facebook account, as well as one on Instagram, and Twitter and Pinterest. But having accounts doesn’t mean much. There is the issue of behavior: am I really being “social”, or am I “lurking”. A quick check of my posts in any of these accounts shows that I am not really being social. In fact, I’m not even a good “lurker”. I actually read my Facebook feed once a week or so, and post once a month or so. Instagram is even less well used, although it is great for the spur of the moment “pic post” to Facebook. As for Twitter – I don’t even look at any of my Twitter readers.¬†Given that evidence, it’s probably not a surprise that I haven’t written a blog post since we got back from Alaska.

I am going to try again, though, and the topic that has inspired me to post is #2018MakeNine Challenge.
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We Are Back!

We arrived home yesterday, August 9, 2017 at about 1:40 PM. Yes, we are very glad to be home. We had a great time on the trip, but 9 weeks and 2 days is a long time to be living on the road, with only 2 night stay overs here and there along the way. We saw a lot of sights we’d never seen before, and reveled in the beautifully wild scenery. Our appreciation of the environment and history was enhanced by national, state and provincial parks and museums. We saw enough wild country and wildlife to be able to say that those early settlers were freaking crazy! So much was done on foot, and one’s living comfort was limited to what one could carry. Nothing at all like our little jaunt, where the biggest hardship was lack of cell phone coverage.

In any case, we are home, and grateful to be here. I would recommend a trip like ours to anyone with the ability and resources to take it. It helped me remember how wonderful it is to just be alive.


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Home, sort of

July 30, 2017:

Here we are, back in the States at last! Tomorrow begins our ninth week on the road, but today is our first day “stateside” since July 11 and our first day in the lower 48 since June 21.  Our first night back, we are overnighting at Old Mill State Park, Minnesota. 

Here is a shot of the flour mill for which the park is named. The milk was founded by an immigrant Swede named Lars Larson, Sr. It was originally a water powered mill, but quickly converted to steam power. The park still holds “grinding days” twice a year, to commemorate these early developments of industry in this region. 

There is also a stand of Scotch Pines next to the mill which are descendants of the original Scorch Pines Mr. Larson planted using seeds from “the old country”. Yes, the Scotch Pines came from Sweden. I don’t know the explanation for that. 

The original Scotch Pines planted by Mr. Larson are still alive and well at the site of the original water powered mill. Regrettably none of my tree pictures will upload right now, but hey, they are Scotch Pines! Not an unusual sight in the states, I’m thinking. 

So: we’re back – mostly, sort of. 


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Crooked Lake, SK

This is a little gem of a provincial park – an oasis in the Qu’Appelle Valley. I only have a few pictures of our campsite, but hopefully they will give an idea of the comfort this park offers. The lake itself is very popular with boaters of all sorts, and with our dog, Sophie. If this park was closer to home, we would certainly come back. 

The valley seems to be mostly First Nations reservations, and dry land agriculture, particularly wheat. It is deep and flatish, and comes as a bit of a surprise, situated as it is in the midst of apparently unending prairie. There you are driving along in the middle of a flat landscape as far as the eye can see in all directions, and suddenly there is a steep downward grade that emerges into this long skinny valley. 
Photo of campsite at Crooked Lake

Our campsite and fireplace – the towels are for Sophie, who has just returned from a swim in the lake. Out can see what she thinks of their utility!


Above is Larry listening to a book and staring off into the fire – one of his favorite camping activities. 


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July 27, 2017 Progress Report

It’s official: we are coming home now. After touring through the Yukon’s provincial and national forests, we headed to Jasper National Park, and followed the Icefields Parkway as far south as route 11, just past the Banf National Park border. After days of rugged beauty, iffy roads and no cell phone service, we realized we missed our home and the simple comforts: like hot showers any time you want and a really comfortable bed. 

So we headed east and went around Edmonton, then south to Saskatoon. Today we are headed to a provincial park east of Regina. We have decided to add one more tour on the way home: we want to to see Michigan’s upper peninsula. We have to go by there to get home anyway. 

We are also proceeding more slowly than we did while heading toward Juneau. With no other schedules to match, we are taking a couple of nights in some places, just to “rest up” from all of the driving. We have traveled 9,325 miles so far on this trip. That is a lot of driving!

This section of Canada is much more developed than the Yukon Territory and British Columbia. There is cell phone coverage nearly everywhere, and the campsites at provincial parks include electric connections, with flush toilets (no more pits) and access to showers in the bathrooms. The mountains have given way to plains, and agriculture seems to be flourishing. One aspect of the terrain is consistent though: the land is still vast. These plains have gone on for days, with no end in sight. 

There is also one aspect of Canada that seems a lot like upstate New York. Apparently Canada has the same 2 seasons we do: winter and road construction. The road maintenance efforts seem more effective in Saskatchewan than in the western provinces. Most roads are smooth – pot hole and frost heave free. We can actually travel at the posted speed limit!

Today’s photos are courtesy of the rest area at Davidson, SK: the largest coffee pot I’ve ever seen, and some “historical road building equipment.”