A Bit ‘bent

What’s that funny looking conveyance that man is sitting on in the photo on my Instagram feed? That is a recumbent tricycle. My husband has Parkinson’s Disease. It affects his balance and endurance. Riding a bicycle was getting a bit risky. He’d taken a few spills. So, we decided he needed something  more stable. Those big trikes aren’t cool. But recumbents definitely are, even for people without mobility problems.

tombent

This is a one person trike, although they can be made for two. It’s geared like a bicycle, and this one has the advantage of a small battery-powered motor that can either assist in pedaling, or propel the rider along without effort. With the motor alone, it can go up to 40kmh. Because my husband tires easily, he can use it to assist getting up hills, or when his legs just can’t pedal anymore. The recumbent position allows you to pedal with greater efficiency, and it is so much more comfortable than a regular bicycle. Having ridden this one, I don’t know why anyone would want to sit hunched over on a bicycle enduring sore bottom, wrists, shoulders, and neck. There are recumbent bicycles too, which I’d love to try.

This link takes you to a video of Thomas sharing the road with the snowmobile trail groomer back in January when he first got the trike. You don’t want to travel icy roads like these on two wheels!

 

Card For An April Wedding

Here’s another card I made, this for a spring wedding for a lovely young couple I know. This was my first try at the ‘print and cut’ feature of my Cricut Explore. I need more card making occasions.

WeddingCongratualtionsCard

What I used:

  • The cardstock is Recollections, and there’s that Stampin’ Up vellum again.
  • And Dollarama twine…what would we do without that?

Makes

I can finally post this because the recipient will have received it by the time the photo has published. My daughter asked me for really special card for a friend. Her wedding colour was pink, so that’s what I went with for the card. There’s a pocket at the back to insert a gift card into.  If I was going to change anything it would be to add a thin line of ‘puff paint’ to cover up the slices where the top of the ‘cake’ is adhered to the sides. It took hours to make, but I’m happy with the result.

 explodingboxcardpink

 explodingbackcardpink2

 

What I used for a 4”x4”x4” card box…for those interested:

  • Recollections 12”x12” textured paper in pink (2 sheets).
  • White Recollections card stock.
  • Printed paper from an online sources.
  • White vellum from Stampin’ Up—love this stuff.
  • Silk flowers and pearl beading  from Michaels
  • Cricut marker in gold
  • Ribbon and pearl embellishments from Dollarama
  • Mostly cut with Cricut Explore
  • A very few flowers cut with Spellbinders dies.

Our 1987 KMV 1700 HT Boat

Today was supposed to be a boating day. But a problem with the engine tilt kept us more or less on land. Instead we paddled a bit on the Nottawasaga and then loaded the kayaks up and relaxed on the beach.  While I’m waiting for supper to warm up, I thought I’d repost something I wrote several years ago on my old blog, now long gone.

For relaxation, you need one of two things: fire, or water. Neither are available in our backyard, and we are constantly ‘treated’ to our neighbour’s taste in music. Being out in our little aluminum fishing boat reminded me of what fun we had with our run-about many pre-children years ago. So, I suggested to my husband, that we should buy a another boat. No need for persuasion. He knew exactly what he wanted.

KMV 1700 HT Dromidille
Thomas with his KMV.

Back in the 1980s, KMV bought the Oliver Boat Plant here in New Lowell. The Norwegians were involved in building some of the Oliver Boats of the most recent vintages. Oliver had a creative mind and designed some really great boats that were fun and functional, depending on what you like. But once the Norwegians bought the business out, the plant was renamed KMV Boats. My father worked for Oliver, as did my mother, and several friends. My parents stayed on when the business changed hands and in KMV’s last year of business, my sister worked there as quality control. So if you have an 1987 KMV, she did the final inspection and applied all the trim and logos.

My father did all the woodwork in the boats, from the interior framework (I don’t know the proper ‘boat term’) and all the wood trim, like the three little decorative strips of teak on the front, and in the 1700 Dromidilles, the teak tables that span the seats in the front, but convert to a dining table at the back. My mother did the upholstery in many of the boats, so the fabric covered cushions, and the burgundy and grey or navy seats are probably her work.

When the plant closed, the molds were given away (or sold, but I think they were given away) and my husband was so disappointed, because loved the design of the 1700HT. 25 years later, he still wanted that boat.

It took a lot of hunting to track one down. One we looked at had scrapes through the hull. Not a consideration, because these boats are foam filled,  just fixing the fibreglass doesn’t work because  if the foam is saturated, it doesn’t dry out. My guess is that it would ride pretty low in the water.  They are supposed to be unsinkable (which brings to mind the obvious comparison, the Titanic.)

I finally found one, three hours from home. I sent a family friend to check it out for us, and he deemed it worth our drive out. The owner was kind enough to take us for a spin on Lake Ontario, which on that day was as smooth as a mill pond (or milk pond). My husband was smitten, and we were soon on our way back down the 401 with boat

KMV 1700HT
Boat dog and I.

in tow.

Some things we’ve learned about this boat:

  • Things—anchors, batteries, coolers, gas cans and people have to be evenly balanced or the boat lists easily and the steering gets wonky.
  • With a 60HP motor it skips along fast enough for us, but not fast enough for the kids who want to ski and tube. At least that’s what we tell them.
  • Having the hard-top is awesome. It looks small, but I can stretch out for a nap (I’m 5’10”) quite comfortably and stay out of the weather.
  • It actually handles fairly rough water well. Not, stupid, you shouldn’t be out there in the first place, rough of course. But, out on Nottawasaga Bay, with the winds gusting from 30km to 40km we felt well rocked, but not at all insecure.
  • Overloading the front, either with people or heavy gear in the bow cubbies causes wonky steering.
  • With the small trolling motor you can get away with travelling through less than three feet of water.
  • It scares fish away. (Reason #9876 we didn’t catch fish)
  • It sounds more loud and hollow going over chop than our old run-about. My guess is that the sound is echoed under the hard-top rather than muffled under the closed-in bow of the run-about.
KMV
Captain Boat Dog

 

So, we now own a little bit of New Lowell history (not Owen Sound, Angus, Quebec or any other place you see people claiming KMVs were built), and a little bit of personal history. And, I get wife of the year award this year. I actually sold my horse trailer to accommodate this purchase. I win.

Since writing this, I’ve noticed that if the serial number is indication, we may have a 1986, rather than 1987. Not that there’s any difference. If I ever come across an Oliver with the center console, I’d be very tempted to buy it.  I saw one near Midland at a storage facility, but have never seen one in the water. I’ve also noticed that there is another Oliver boat company in the U.S.  Not the same thing at all.

Suddenly It’s Summer

From dreary, endless winter to high summer within a week! Suddenly I’m unpacking summer clothes and stashing the warm winter clothes. Around here though, there’s a good chance I’ll be pulling a few warm sweaters out.

We’ve spent a little time getting the backyard ready too. The gazebo screens are on so we’re ready to dodge the mosquitoes. And I’ve done a tiny bit of gardening–plopping a few petunias, herbs and morning glories in the small patch of sunny garden and a few planters I grow flowers in. We started geraniums early in the spring, and they’ve been put out now too. All my houseplants live outdoors in the summer, with some care to harden them off to the sun and wind.

Vegetable gardening is almost impossible in our yard. We have an area where a pool used to sit that we’ve been filling in with leaves, Here we can grow potatoes, and zucchini and cucumbers seem to be able to survive around the edges. Tomatoes are a loss, as they succumb to blight no matter what we do. The season is too short for nice peppers, and the only thing that grows reasonably well in the shade are leafy greens.

We absolutely ache for a backyard we can have a real garden in! To that end, and because a multi-level house with three sets of stairs and one partial set is not suitable for someone with Parkinson’s Disease we are slowly getting our house ready to sell. We plan to buy before we sell and get exactly what we want.

But first, there’s a wedding! I’ve been making a few things, my own dress included. It’s almost finished. I used the Butterick B5710. I’ll write a short post about my ‘adventures’ with this pattern in case anyone else still wants to sew with it. It’s an easy pattern–but setting that zipper–if you look closely, even the picture on the website shows a big bulge in it! There’s an easy fix though and a way to save some struggle.

With the dress somewhat out of the way (hand sewing the hems–yuck), my next task is photo-booth props. And that knit dress–the front and back are knitted and I’m sitting down to the sleeves. I’ve wanted this dress for ages, bought the knitting machine a year ago, and am finally getting it done. I’ve learned so much in the year, and there is an incredible amount still to learn, but I’m starting to make wearable garments, rather than sample swatches. Sewing on its own seems so much simpler now that I’m learning to make fabric from scratch! Buying a few yards off the bolt almost feels like cheating!

 

The "Pippa" dress--now a mother-of-the-bride dress.
The “Pippa” dress–now a mother-of-the-bride dress.

Another Project

I spent a good part of the day at the Creativ Festival in Mississauga and came home with two balls of yarn and a pattern for a summer shawl . Since I don’t know how to hand knit I’m working it up on my bulky gauge knitting machine. It’s already half done and I’m quite satisfied with the results so far . The yarn is called Nako Venus Heaven.

image

image
Sourdough SCOBY?

I’ve been making sourdough on and off for years.  This batch was parked beside the kombucha tea urn.  Is that why it formed a kombucha tea-like SCOBY,  or biofilm? This is the first time I’ve seen this happen.  Beneath the layer all was well,  the sourdough smelling nice and spicy.  I took the layer off and fed the sponge.  It’s bubbling away as good sourdough starter should.

After The Ice Storm

After what seemed like days of weather watches and special statements it was hard to take the forecasts seriously.  But Thursday the expected freezing rain did begin and by early evening if was obvious there would be a mess by morning.  The power went out as most people were preparing dinner.  We enjoyed a  candle light dinner of take out pizza and the lights came on just before bedtime

IMG_20160324_220737724a
Thursday evening as it’s still raining.

We fell asleep listening to branches crashing down and I debated whether the vehicles were safer parked on the road or in the driveway under the trees. The only major branch we lost fell over the fence within inches of the neighbour’s camper trailer. So there is lots of cleaning of small branches.

Friday morning.
Friday morning.

The power went out again at dinner time which meant serving rather undercooked and frosty veggies for Easter family dinner,  but everything else was done.  The lights came on as we finished dessert.

Saturday morning.
Saturday morning.

Saturday morning dawned sunny with the ice still on the trees.  It was dazzling.  But,  we are still hearing chainsaws as everyone tries to clean up. Some folks are still without power.  I’ve posted more photos on my Google albums.

https://goo.gl/photos/THttXzpSeF8eCvwLA