Monthly Archives: August 2009

Oops…

…I’m slackin’.  It is now Day 5 of our trip and we are Sault Ste. Marie, ONT, Canada.  We arrived late yesterday afternoon, having departed Wawa, Ont in the mid-morning hours.  I didn’t post from Wawa because my internet connection was sporadic, at best.  Thunder Bay to Wawa was the longest leg of our journey and went through some of the prettiest country as it travelled the bluffs along Lake Superior.  Stone varied in color from gray, to orange to white, the lake varied in color from gray to blue.  We had some rain, some sun and our first stop of the day was Ouimet Canyon Provincial park.  This was an amazing stop. From the trailhead (and the wonderful and informative staff) it’s about a 3/4 of a mile trip to the canyon viewing pods.  The path is easy and some of it is even boardwalk.  The highlight of the trail for me was this:

Ouimet Canyon trail-foot bridge

Ouimet Canyon trail-foot bridge

Ronda and I brought our Nordic poles and were the intrepid explorers :-):

Ronda and Julie with our Nordic poles

Ronda and Julie with our Nordic poles

At the end of the trail were some spectacular views of the canyon:

Ouimet Canyon-looking downstream

Ouimet Canyon-looking downstream

and:

Stone pillar in the canyon

Stone pillar in the canyon

and someone who didn’t much care for the heights:

I don't like heights!

I don't like heights!

Once we had hiked back to the cars, we had a little snack and hit the road, stopping for lunch in Nippigon ONT at a roadside park. It was a fun day and when we stopped for the night in Wawa we were tired, but happy. 🙂 Wednesday night after dinner I gave knitting lessons before bed…with both students catching on so quickly I was amazed!  A good time was had by all.

Just in case you were wondering why Wawa, well…Wawa is famous for these:

Wawa means goose..

Wawa means goose..

Yesterday was a rainy day of travel into the Sault.  We stopped along the way for sustance, found our hotel and even had time for a nap. I also did a fair amount of knitting.

Today we are off to explore the Canadian side of the Sault locks, then we cross the bridge back to the states and take a lock tour on the American side.  I will share more later….

Have a wonderful day…

Blessings,

Julie

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Hello from…

…beautiful Thunder Bay, ONT, Canada.  We spent our day touristing around this lovely city.  The morning started with breakfast in our  hotel room.  I will spare you photos of me in the morning chowing on a doughnut followed by a healthy high fiber bar. 🙂  Then we all headed for Kekabeka Provincial Park -famous primarily for it’s beautiful falls.  Feast your eyes:

Falls from visitor's center overlook

Falls from visitor's center overlook

Another shot of the falls, this time of a very cool stairstep formation between the two drops.

Kekabeka Falls-stairs

Kekabeka Falls-stairs

Next up is a group photo of all seven of us at the falls:

Family shot at the falls

Family shot at the falls

After the falls we went to a very popular…and apparently somewhat famous…Finnish restaurant in the city call Hoitos.  We feasted on such specialties as Finnish pancakes…light, thin, big and totally yummy, a flat rye bread with rice baked into the center whose name escapes me right now, but it was served with egg salad, tomatoes and pickles and was delicious, perogi served with fried onions and sour cream, homemade lentil soup and also some kind of Finnish beef stew.  The meal was fabulous, so if you’re ever in the neighborhood…Run, don’t walk to Hoitos.

The afternoon found us at Hillcrest Gardens. The views….and the flowers were absolutely spectacular.  The first photo I will share is my niece who very kindly submitted to about 5400 photo ops today :-), then the rest are flowers and I will end today’s photos with a tribute to the nation we are visiting.  We thank them for their beautiful homeland and kind hospitality.

Our dear niece presiding over a magnificent view

Our dear niece presiding over a magnificent view

I don't know what these are but I love them!

I don't know what these are but I love them!

Aren't the yellows glorious?

Aren't the yellows glorious?

I love all the different colors!

I love all the different colors!

In a shady spot...

In a shady spot...

Thank you for a beautiful day, Canada! You are the best of neighbors!

Thank you for a beautiful day, Canada! You are the best of neighbors!

It was indeed a very full and very fun day. Now I am off to bed and tomorrow we are off for Wawa, Ont, Canada. Between here and there we will be covering 240 miles of forest, rock and shoreline.  Looking forward…

Blessings,

Julie

Vacation…

…north-style, day one.  We have started on this year’s great adventure…a motor trip around Lake Superior.  We began this morning from our home in the southern part of Minnesota accompanied by two of DH’s sisters and our niece.  We drove north to Duluth and picked up dad and mom C.  Well, actually, we didn’t pick them up, they are driving one of the cars, we are driving the other.

From Duluth we headed up the North Shore of Lake Superior…an absolutely glorious drive on an absolutely glorious day!  We saw Split Rock Lighthouse:

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

We had lunch at the best pizza place around:  Sven and Ole’s in Grand Marias, MN.  This is a fine establishment known for pizzas made from unusual ingredients such as Lutefisk (kid you not) and wild rice.  We enjoyed a chicken and sausage, thin crust pizza and a little more unusual variety with wild rice, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, green pepper and onion.  They were both fabulous.

From there it was off to Canada.  After clearing customs we came to rest at our first destination:  Thunderbay, ONT.  We are staying at a lovely hotel with this kind of backyard:

Thunder Bay landscape

Thunder Bay landscape

and…

Wild Flowers galore

Wild Flowers galore

and…

Gorgeous flowers

Gorgeous flowers

and finally…DH and I…

On the banks of the backyard pond

On the banks of the backyard pond

Stay turned for more as we explore beautiful Thunder Bay tomorrow.

Blessings,

Julie

Let’s take a walk…

…down memory lane.  Since I haven’t taken a photo of my new pillow finish and since I don’t have any current ‘in progress’ photos, I thought I would take us back in time to the companion piece of the Kimono by Jinice I just finished in June. (see archives for photos).

I have five Kimono canvases from this designer and the one I’m about to show you was my first finish in counted needlepoint.  When I purchased the canvases, I picked different colorways for each. The first one I started was in aquas and blues…that’s the one I just finished in June.  The second one I started…a full back view…I finished first and gave as a gift to my mom.  The colorway for that one? Well, see for yourself:

Jinice Kimono-full back

Jinice Kimono-full back

and…

Jinice Kimono displayed in mom's house

Jinice Kimono displayed in mom's house

The colors are less true in the second one, but it shows you how mom had it displayed in her home.  For now I have temporary custody of the Kimono, as she is off exploring London for three years with my brother and his family. 🙂

The fibers used include Kreinik Watercolors (Flame, I believe), Medici wool, Kreinik metallics (large variety) and beads.  There are many different stitches used and the metallic outlines are couched in place.

As with my second Kimono finshed this June, I had this one framed to image in a simple non fussy frame.

Just so you can see the two together, here is the side view Kimono (which I actually started first)

Jinice Kimono-side view

Jinice Kimono-side view

I do have photos of this framed somewhere…I think, but could I find them this morning. NOOOOOOO.

Next up in this series is the one on black canvas…a side view of 2 Kimono.  So stay tuned.

To Cindy:  I was confused too, but the deal for Farve is signed and sealed and delivered with $13 million dollars worth of love. Sigh…just think of the stash that would buy. But then again after the first sack, I might not be able to lift a needle….

It should be a fun season. 🙂

I am off to work shortly.  May you all have a blessed day.

Julie

A thing of beauty…

…is a joy forever-take two.

Mr. Brett Farve-in purple.

Mr. Brett Farve-in purple.

(photo courtesy of nfl.com)

Stay healthy, have fun, go Vikes!
‘Nuf said.
Blessings,
Julie

A thing of beauty…

…is a joy forever.  Are you ready for some beauty? Well feast your eyes on these:

You say tomato, I say toe-ma-toe

You say tomato, I say toe-ma-toe

Eat your heart out, Martha!

Yes, I am feeling rather pleased with myself.  I turned a large box of local, farm-grown tomatoes into quarts and quarts of canned tomatoes to enjoy as the snow flies. And the best news…ALL of them sealed!!  I put fresh garlic, basil and oregano in some of the quarts and some I salted (just a little) and peppered but otherwise left alone.

Spaghetti anyone?

No stitchy updates today…but stay tuned. I have finish so close I can taste it!

Blessings,

Julie

I miss you…

…Daddy. I always will. I can’t believe it’s been two years.
Thank you for a lifetime of love and support. I am so blessed to have been your daughter.
Dad's fav chair upstairs at lake

I love you,

Julie

Did you notice…

…this very neglected blog has a new title?  ‘Simply Joy’ reflects both my name (well, my middle name) and the subject matter of this blog as I write my way into the future.  I love to share those things in my life that bring me joy. What are they? My family. My friends. Stitching. Cooking. Reading. Nature. Traveling.  Gives me lots of material, don’t you think?

It has been a very busy summer. But I am not complaining. We’ve had wonderful times with people we love and have enjoyed lovely weather for the most part.  This month started up in northern Minnesota for Dan and I.  We were at a wonderful resort called the Jolly Fisherman on Big Elbow Lake, staying with friends.  It was a cool but peaceful few days of bliss! If you want a great place to swim, fish and relax, call them!

We came home to a family reunion on DH’s side and in a little over a week we leave on vacation.  We are doing the circle tour around Lake Superior.  Amazingly enough, for a girl who grew up on its shores, I have never driven all the way around the lake. I am looking forward to it!  I hope to post photos.

Before I leave today, I want to do my Siskel and Ebert imitation.  Last night DH and I went to see ‘Julie and Julia‘.  I have read both books this movie is based on…and I have to say they did a VERY nice job with the screen play. It was two solid hours of enjoyment and…well…I did leave feeling a bit hungry. 🙂  If you have an interest in Julia Child, cooking or one way of dealing with a mid-life crisis, go see it.  Meryl Streep…as always…is awesome!. TWO THUMBS UP!

I don’t have a stitching update, mostly because I haven’t done any lately, but don’t give up on me…my studio is FINALLY done!  I have sorted and alphabetized and culled…and am almost ready to settle in and stitch.

But the biggest news today?  26 years ago…I can’t believe it’s been that long…I married a kind, wonderful, sexy (his sister’s are probably gaggin’. :-))  man. Happy Anniversary  to us! I have been truly blessed!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer, filled with laughter and joy in the journey.

Blessings,

Julie