Wednesday, July 30, 2008

heat of the day

I'm trying to get back to my usual posting of at least twice a week. I used to do it on Sundays and Wednesdays, but got off schedule somewhere. The sad thing is that I may not be my charming self on the appointed posting days! You'll have to make do with what's really going down around here...we're "in between" two visits this week from relatives. The guestroom sheets have been washed, dried and are on the bed again. The house is being tidied up. I'm fitting in that thing called work between all the household activities.

Several people wanted a shot of my dogs in their fancy new coats for Winnipeg winters. I too hope to take a photo of them looking chic--but it will have to wait. I've yet to receive the second coat in the mail, and we've been having some pretty hot summer weather..which is normal for Kentucky, we haven't moved yet. (Think mid to high 90'sF or 38 or 39C, with humidity to boot.) I'm not going to torture my furry friends with additional clothing! Sorry! If you think the heat makes me peevish, (and it does) it's hard to imagine how it affects these rugs lying around---that we call dogs.

Instead, I've decided to cover myself with fur and spin a front of an air conditioning vent. I've finally plied up some yarn I spun more than a month ago. This is a soft dark gray Romney wool with bits of aqua dyed into it, plied with a variegated aqua Merino/silk roving. In total, I think it is a worsted weight, about 300 yards and between 8-9 oz. Once the skeins dry, it will go into my "handspun yarn" pile! I'm working hard on designing knitting projects with commercial yarns for my next book. Given the "economic downturn," (psst: can you say recession?) I'm not sure I'll find a gallery interested in selling these, but I'll keep spinning in the meanwhile, of course. It's hard for me to consider NOT spinning! I haven't had success in selling handspun on etsy, either. So, if you've got a hankering for handspun, let me know! I may be able to help. :)
Mostly I seem to want to lay on the couch in a heap (not touching anyone else!) and read when the temperature's this high. Air conditioning can only do so much... Here are a few work-related books for research that just came in the mail. Any good guesses about what book #2 might be?

Cooking continues apace here for relatives and friends. Homemade crusty whole wheat bread, roasted eggplant salad, tomato sandwiches, white peaches, fresh cantaloupe and other summer delights take center stage. That said, you're not likely to read a lot of recipes here. Why? I do my bit of technical writing--knitting patterns, etc. for my job. I even baked breads and desserts at a restaurant one summer--for pay. Writing recipes (or even retyping them) is a lot like work for me. Cooking, like spinning or knitting, is my creative fun--when I don't have to write all that designing down! I read a lot of cookbooks, foodie magazines, listen to The Splendid Table and think a lot about food because, well, I like it. The best secret I have? Maybe reading all of the above, cooking a lot, and exploring on your own. The lemon curd recipe? It came from here. Yup, The Joy of Cooking--an oldie but a goodie.

My friend Janet is kind enough to post her recipes online at her blog, You are What You Eat. There are probably hundreds of foodie blogs online, but hers is the only one I read. It's that good, and I agree with her opinions about local food and sustainable agriculture.

The garden is tomatoes, basil, squash blossoms, cucumbers, kale, jerusalem artichokes are all going non-stop! The collard seeds I planted are just coming up. Photos of these will follow...when things cool down and the mosquitoes take a little break. Until then? Feel free to join me, with a glass of cold tea, on the couch. Just Puh-leeze--don't--get too close!

Friday, July 25, 2008

those fuzzy jackets

When I last wrote, I was hinting that something enchanted would come home with me from the yarn and spinning store. I was sorely tempted by a spinning wheel, but I held strong and came home without it. I have been interested in the new "Mach 1" wheels; I love the treadling motions of this wheel but hold out hope that something that costs several hundred dollars be slightly better made..and come with actual written instructions? Also (a big point) I already have FOUR spinning wheels!

I was jostled into realizing that we are being visited by both my father-in-law and my parents this week. Things needed some serious tidying up. In fact, I believe everyone's office needs an overhaul every five years or so, right? This is my desk with my new flat screen monitor...after cleaning. It was so clean that I couldn't work there (I'd never make it as one of those bank managers with the empty desks) so it is already somewhat less clean.

My knitting worklife has involved ripping up a bedsheet...I did that right after cleaning my office so I could stop feeling quite so restrained and proper. This ball looks small. The "yarn" is actually a 2" strip. I'm knitting with size #19 needles. Yup, I can take a knitting adventure without leaving home, let me tell you!

Again, to get away from the cleaning frenzy, I did some cooking. Here's a hazelnut apple chocolate chip cake, straight out of the oven. The yellow photo? My homemade lemon curd, complete corns to match. Actually, these were grown out at the university's farm research site and they are a bit too big to be called baby corn. One of the biologists suggested calling it "late adolescent" corn. How about college student corn? Anyway, it's ours to be eaten when I come up with something suitably exotic for it.

The blur of cleaning aside, things haven't been all that stimulating over here. Well, except for...the fuzzy coat! I ordered a merino/ecofur dog coat for Sally our shorthaired pointer dog. (we got parkas, didn't she need something for Canadian winter? All she has now is one hand-me-down sweater I cut down for her.) Ecofur, by the way, is short hand for Australian Brushtail Possum. This invasive species is overrunning New Zealand and destroying the native Kiwi habitat. The solution is a "harvest of the invasive animals," in which the fur from these possums is used with wool to make a luxury fabric. I ordered this fancy coat, which comes complete with a turtleneck with a hole for the leash and velcro closures that go around the chest. It fits Sally, who tolerated the modelling session.

Harry (our long haired, setter mix dog) was primping and preening to try this thing on. He sat on my foot. He pranced around. He looked jealously at Sally and barked for his turn. It seemed ridiculous, because he has plenty of fur....but I let him try it on too. He did his burlesque impression, his drama queen pose, and beamed at me. (I'm so sorry I don't have a photo of this one!)

When the professor got home, I redid the modelling session with Sally to show him the new clothes...and Harry again became a celebrity model wannabe. The professor laughed. I laughed. Then I went upstairs to my outrageously clean desk and ordered Harry his own coat. How can one live without one's own Merino/ecofur fuzzy coat, I ask you? It's so hard to be a dog around here...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Whew! We're just buzzing with activity. So busy that I forgot to post this past weekend. We were preoccupied. First, it's been very hot here, yesterday's "heat index" was 105 F. (40 C, folks!)

Obviously, the most important thing to do while coping with the heat is to try on parkas, right?! We ordered appropriate winter gear for Canadian winters recently. Everything down filled is on sale in the summer, so it's a good chance to stock up. The professor (pictured here) got two parkas, since he has still been using a ridiculously small ski jacket that he got at age 16 or 17 whenever it got cold. Now, that jacket sort of looked like a shrug, in my opinion, barely covered his rib cage, but he refused to buy a new one when it "hardly ever got cold enough" here. (In Kentucky, we usually have a week of temperatures in the 5 to 25F/-15 to -4C range.) Now, at least, I've convinced him into decent winter gear. I even made him wear a handknit sweater while he tried on the coat, so he is very warm in that photo!

Actually, I think it was the German professor he met in Winnipeg who told him to "Buy dee varmest coat North Face makes, buy it immediately in the USA. You vill need it." That other guy had a PhD and a very serious sounding accent so my professor believed him. :)

In other activities, I canned 8 pints of dilly beans (green and wax beans with a dill vinegar solution, like dill pickles) and 6 pints of dill cucumber pickles. I had a couple of hours of spinning time with a friend, (first time I've spun in quite a while) and then my spinning friend came with the professor and me to see a local production of Gershwin's Crazy for You. Gershwin's music is hard to play, so we were very impressed with the production. A pit orchestra, great vocal leads entire chorus line of fabulous tap and soft shoe dancers.

Who knew? Bowling Green secretly is a hotbed of tap dance divas! Best of all was sitting in a dark air conditioned theater for a Sunday matinee while the closest thermometer read 99F/37C. A recurring theme here in the summer time is this temperature thing. I never remember thinking so much about it when a) I lived in a cooler climate and b)my air conditioning kept up. My upstairs office is quite steamy this time of year, hotter than any other room in my house. Maybe (just maybe) because it is lined in boxes of wool?

In the knitting department, I'm working on a sweater design with bulky weight Morehouse Merino yarn. Luscious stuff. Yes, I knit with wool and spin wool in the summer. I CAN TAKE IT. Bring on the heat! (ok, not really, but I try not to be wimpy about it.)

This is most of the news. Today I'm off to visit my local yarn/spinning shop, Enchanted Yarn And Fiber. I've been thoroughly enjoying all your long and juicy comments...and I try to visit and comment on your blogs or send an email in return. Thanks for keeping me company; I love to hear from you. I'll let you know if I come home with anything enchanted after my adventure today!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

every last bit!

Today was a real glamour day in the knitwear design world. NOT! I reknit the end of the cashmere project THREE times. I wanted to use every last bit. I wanted Lucy's cashmere to be perfect.

It's hot here, in the 90's Fahrenheit (33 C) and no, it's not a "real feel" temperature--I have no idea how hot that is. Dang hot. So, here I am, cashmere fuzz sticking to me, doing this over and over. This fiber, this Lucy remembrance week, didn't want to end. (Thanks, by the way, for all your kind notes. Those comments felt like we were all drinking tea together, eating snacks and bonding. I was very grateful!) I finally ended up with about 2 yards left...third time's the charm. It was worth it.
Other exciting activities including going out to review what was interesting in our garden. I missed the Tuesday morning farmer's market and we're a bit low on veggies. (we've got loads of fruit though, just no tomatoes, a staple of summer life here!) So, I picked a cucumber and I found a lot of this:

Rich, leafy greens, growing in hot weather, filled with Vitamin A? Dandelion Greens. Really. Look how good those are! If you have a garden space where there's no chance of herbicide or pesticide being sprayed, there's a good chance you'll grow some of these. I'm looking forward to sauteing them with garlic, adding olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, and throwing it over some pasta with goat cheese. Add some fruit and cold white wine and voila! Summer dinner.
Oh, and then the mail came. My friend Alison has such good timing. Ok, now it's a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice, from her garden! I'd been thinking about lemon curd lately. When I was in Nashville yesterday, a jar was nearly $9! Guess it's time to spend quality time with those real lemons...and make some from scratch. Thank you, Alison, (AGAIN!) for this wonderful pleasure!
Any summer pleasures you're squeezing every last bit from? Do tell...

Monday, July 14, 2008

canning, decisions, and Lucy

Canning Update, anyone? (If you are from the UK, that's "bottling" to you! Glad we cleared that up, Mrs. J!) Since we last talked here, I've done the following:
15 cups of plum-apple chutney
6-7 cups of peach jam
8 cups of eggplant chutney
The professor and I talked, concluding that I like saving money, providing healthy good food for our household, and "stocking up" for winter...I am, as Deb mentioned in the comments, not just a planner but also a worrier. The professor's field season is in the summer, so we don't take big vacations. I find (and I know this sounds weird) canning to be a vacation in itself. I also like to cook (and eat). Canning is a discrete period of time when I need to concentrate wholly on this activity. My brain empties, my body tires, and when I'm done, I collapse on the couch to cool down and rest. It's a 2-3 hour vacation. And, as Diane mentioned, it just tastes better!

As Caroline said, my whole body calms down after a big decision. That means that my normal defenses (both emotional and physical) are down. I'm not feeling tiptop, and I've been a little sad...but not about the decision to move to Winnipeg. Just sad, and I think I know why.

In June of 2004, I lost my constant companion, my first dog, Lucy. Lucy was only seven when she got sick with a liver problem (cancer, we think) and eight when the vet convinced us it was time to put her down. During the year she was sick I did everything I could to keep her alive and happy. It's been four years since I said goodbye to Lucy, and while she was very ill, I still regret the decision to put her down--the day we did, she took a very slow walk around the block, barked at the door when the vet came, and looked at both the professor and me for one long moment while she died.

I got Lucy when she was about 3 months old, and I was 23. She was a lab mix, probably with shepherd or some kind of collie, and at her prime, she was about 75 lbs. She was a very bright amazing problem solver. If you dropped her leash by accident? She'd wait and carry the leash for you in her mouth until you could pick it up again. Once, she couldn't fit all the tennis balls in the yard in her mouth at once, so she picked up an empty plastic water bowl, carefully put 3 tennis balls in it, and carried the plastic container around. That's a smart girl.

Lucy was always by my side. She slept in my bed, rode shotgun in the car with me, and slept (and drooled) on me as I knitted. She loved snow. When we married the professor, well, that's how it was....WE married him. Lucy was his step-dog, and she took his commands (sit, stay, etc.) under advisement. If she didn't think he was saying the right thing? She ignored him. She was usually right!
I believe that all dogs are special, and after only a month of hysterical sadness, I adopted Harry from the shelter. He was a rambunctious and submissive puppy and kept me totally distracted and busy. However, there are people who say that while all dogs have personalities, some have very special ones and, let's face it, there are people and dogs with whom one has an intimate, tight bond. Lucy was just one of those special "people."

Lucy hated thunderstorms. She would shake the whole bed if she were in it during a bad one. Just after she died, in late June or early July 2004, there was a terrible storm. Although I'd never minded storms before Lucy, after she died, I just couldn't sleep through them. At 1 am, I sat at my Canadian Production wheel and I spun some very special fiber, some cashmere, as I cried for Lucy. (I wrote about this in an essay in the book KnitLit the Third. )

I've had that skein of cashmere ever since. Each time I picked it up, I was right back in the middle of that thunderstorm, missing my girl Lucy. Recently, the right project came along for that skein. The project is for my next book, book #2, and it's a sample I will get to keep. It's knitting up beautifully. This past weekend, we had a bad storm, and Harry's pet Sally, that other black dog who owns me now, cowered next to me on the couch as I tried to comfort her. I knit that cashmere. I missed Lucy something terrible.

The professor helped me find all these photos of Lucy (and me) to share with you. No photo shows anyone's soul, but maybe you can help me a bit in celebrating (and missing) Lucy's.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

the next day

You know, it's funny. You make an enormous decision, and then nothing happens. You wake up the next day and the laundry still needs to be done, the dogs walked, the garden watered. However, my friends on the net (thank you, commenters!) and the folks on a special listserv, my family and friends all made a fuss over all this Winnipeg stuff, and we appreciate it. That fuss and the people who said, "We knew you'd choose the right thing!" have been such a support. Plus, you can't believe all the advice I'm getting when it comes to silk long underwear and serious winter coats. In brief? Down coats, with a winter rating of -35 to -50. Right. I'm on it.

The thing that remains is feeling relieved about the decision. Now I know I'm not moving by August--yes, this was part of the decision! The other job, in New York, started in August...-- I'm able to relax a bit. I'd been consciously holding off on things. Like ordering anything via mail order, trying not to buy anything, freeze or can anything, trying to get rid of things, and saving boxes. Now I have a little less than a year to make those choices and plans. Things got easier.

First things first. I canned 32 cups of blackberries. That's two gallons of blackberry brandy jam, blackberry peach jam, and plain old blackberry jam. The berries were free for the picking and while I picked too, the professor and our industrious scientist friend John picked a lot of berries. I also froze a couple of quarts of berries AND made a berry dessert...and the guys want to go out again to pick more. Sure. No problem. By the end of the winter, will we stil like blackberries?

We began to run out of jars, so we took a trip to Big Lots, a store that sells close outs and other odds and ends. I did this on the advice of my friend Deb, who mentioned the best fleece washing device ever was available there, masquerading as a cat litter box. Somehow, we always find lots of goodies when we go to this store. $110 later, we'd enjoyed their air conditioning, bought 2 dozen jam jars, several books, some groceries, the fleece washing set up and two sheep squeaky toys for the dogs.
I offered one squeaky sheep first to see if the dogs like it. They did...the sheep squeaky toy was left in a place of honor. On my pillow in bed. Obviously my dogs like fibery stuff, too, and think I deserve the best!

Then? Back to the canning. Apparently this was the week that local plums ripened, so I bought those, along with the first apples. This became about 15 jars of plum apple chutney. I have more plums--for canning plum sauce and a Friday night dessert of some kind. Last night, as I was cutting up plums, waiting for the bread to come out of the oven at almost midnight, I this a blog post?...although I did not have the heart to shoot photos at that time of night!

Why am I doing all this? Food prices are going up. I want to eat this amazing local fruit in winter. I love crusty bread but grain prices are going up, too. Since we'll be spending another winter here, I want to put up lots of good tasting stuff.

It might be a great time to learn to can if you haven't already, and if you know how? Rush to your garden or nearest farmer's market. Get going. The media acts like we can't control the rising food costs, but this is definitely one way to cut costs, right? And, face it, homemade just tastes so much better!

Oddly, all this canning, the chores, and bathing Harry the dog AGAIN (what did he roll in this time?) have calmed me down. I feel focused. I have a short term plan here in Kentucky, and a longer term plan. I'm that way...a planner.

Do you plan for winter like an ant or a grasshopper? Are you calmer when you know what lies ahead? And do you know what Harry keeps rolling in? How 'bout that silk long underwear? Let me know what you think in the comments. I may not be able to respond to every one of them, but I love hearing what you think, too!

Monday, July 07, 2008

the next installment

The professor has kindly provided me with a few more photos. As you may suspect by this point (if you didn't know already) the Winnipeg visit was orchestrated by the Biological Sciences department at the University of Manitoba. That's because my professor has been nominated for one of these positions.

It's a big honor. It also means that in February of 2009, we hope to hear it's been funded by the Canadian Government and we'll be shopping for a house in Winnipeg. Next year in this time, we may be Winnipeggers.

I understood what all this was about, in theory, but until I saw the research laboratories, I didn't really get it. This is a big research university, with lovely facilities, big windows filled with a great campus view and sunlight (important for raising butterflies and moths for the professor's research) and a large faculty of 50 in the biological sciences. This is serious stuff. And, while it has been an honor for the professor to help educate many Kentuckians who are the first in their families to go to college, he missed the "show". That's what baseball players call the major leagues...the show. In scientist terms, it sometimes might also mean a major research university for a guy who's gone to school here, here , and here.

I'm enormously proud of my professor! So proud that when our hosts (also scientists) pulled up next to a huge Canola field and asked us to pose for photos, I tried to oblige. After all, what are few (million) mosquitoes in an irrigation ditch among scientists? (darn itchy if you're me, but heck, I'm not a scientist....)

For me, Winnipeg has other attractions. It is the ancestral home of the real Winnie-the-Pooh for instance. Famous writers have lived in Winnipeg. Finally, I will have a use for all my knitting--all these sweaters and handknit socks. I can wear them all at once as I skate down the river. :)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

adventures, part 2

I took a little break from the blog for the fourth of July. (two national holidays for two different countries, wow!) We celebrated ours by picking wild blackberries and having an enormous dinner at home with friends. Food? Italian handmade pasta with capers,onions, garlic,smoked salmon and parmesan cheese, a sweet and sour coleslaw, tomatoes, grapeleaves, olives, and avocado salad, homemade challah....and for dessert? Blackberry shortcake with creme fraiche. We suffered through this second holiday, let me tell you!

Now, back to the Winnipeg trip. There was a wee fire in the Fort Garry hotel while we were there, so we snapped a photo of the fire trucks. They come very quickly! (all was fine and we went back to our room in no time!)

There is an amazing amount of diversity in Winnipeg. In our short trip, we ate: Dim Sum, Korean food, Italian food, a fish fry, and a Greek Salad. Here's a snack: Ukranian apple pierogies with cinnamon sugar on top. I shot the photo including our bottle of Canadian prairie water so you could be sure it was still in Canada!

We took an enormous long walk (5 miles or so) and stopped by one of the jazz festival pavilions to listen for a few minutes.

We also saw some beautiful historic houses, built in the early 1900's. Many of them have amazing craftsman details, like built-in bookshelves or oak detailed ceiling beams. It is common to have a waiting room or an anteroom at the front of the house. This is so guests have a warm place inside to wait in winter time, and family members have a place to take off winter boots. This was just one we saw.

On Canada Day itself, we drove out into the country to a marsh field station for their annual fish fry. The drive was across prairie so it was very flat. To the right? We saw Canola's bright yellow flowers. To the left? More bright yellow Canola. The flax fields blossom blue, but their flowers hadn't happened yet. When we arrived at the marsh area, we were introduced to "cottage" country. Many Manitobans like to leave the city and spend weekends along the water at their cottages. We enjoyed the wildlife quite a bit but wondered why anyone would choose to vacation at a mosquito resort? (marsh land= mosquito heaven...)

We saw a pelican, a kingfisher, some very happy goslings and their Canada goose mom. We also saw a lot of toads. Look at those colors!

After the marsh adventure, we returned to town. We took no pictures of this next bit, but it was really the most interesting! At dinner time, we headed to the Forks, where there were enormous crowds, lots of ethnic food and music. We had Korean food and organic Manitoban whole wheat cinnamon buns. We heard music and watched Canadians of all stripes dancing,listening, celebrating...old people, babies, the whole gamut...women in hijab,African dress, Mennonites, Hutterites, punks with piercings...and lots of other kinds of Canadians.

Then we went over to the Gathering Circle, where native peoples have gathered for 4 or 5 thousand years. It was totally full of First Nation people. (Canadians call Indians "Aboriginal" or "First Nations" or by their tribes. Mixed folk of first nation/European ancestry are called"Metis") We watched first Nation veterans post the Union Jack, Maple Leaf, Manitoban and Cree flags. Then, they had dancing in full native regalia--everyone from little kids to old men and women. Different drumcircles took turns doing the singing and drumming.

There was an invocation in Ojibwe and a special honor dance for a teenage boy who will be representing first nation people at the Winnipeg folk festival in a few weeks. The entire ampitheater of people stood to honor him and at the end of the dance, there was a long receiving line to shake his hand. They wished him courage, bravery, and good will. It was a very moving ceremony. We felt so lucky to see it.

Then we walked by the river and wandered back to the hotel. It gets dark very late in Winnipeg, so fireworks didn't happen until 11 pm. We missed the fireworks but certainly heard them from our hotel, which was only a few blocks away. That's most of the Winnipeg adventure. I hear the professor might have more photos to share with me in a day or two.

I hope you're having a wonderful holiday weekend in the USA--and if you're not celebrating Independence Day here, I hope you're having a long restful summer weekend in any case!

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I always love vicarious adventures on other blogs, so I tried to shoot photos and bring you along to Winnipeg with me. I am physically already back home in Kentucky, but here's the first part of the tour.

We stayed at the Fort Garry hotel; this is one of the historic railway hotels. It was so luxurious and a perfect place to stay! I loved the linens and the high-end breakfasts, the complimentary tea and newspapers delivered to our room--it was fabulous. The university booked us at this hotel but it worked out very well since it was also our 10th wedding anniversary!

Here's a shot of the train station, right near the hotel, complete with the Maple Leaf and the RailCanada sign. We walked through the station right down to the Forks. This is where two rivers meet and hence is the historic reason for the settlement of Winnipeg. In fact, first nation peoples have been gathering at "the Forks" for the last four or five thousand years. Now it is a park with shopping, restaurants, and gardens. Here, you can see a pavilion. The yellow stripes on the pavilion mark some of the historic river flood stages. The little girl in the photo is Hutterite, there's a big population of Hutterites in the area...along with practically every other kind of diversity you could imagine!

We wandered through a cleverly landscaped prairie garden in the middle of the Folks. Note the enormous mural above it...there is a lot of mural art in Winnipeg, and it's been going on a long time. There are historic murals, painted advertisements on buildings, and all sorts of modern art too--all of it free and situated throughout the city for passers-by to enjoy.

We then took a short boat tour on the rivers. That big red buoy thing you see in the middle of the river helps to mark the river's deepest channel where boats can go during flood stage. Many of the river trails, park steps and other sites are completely underwater in the spring floods. However, the provincial government has done great planning and built dikes all over the city. They are always planning new ways to help divert parts of the flood to help keep the city dry and functioning during the springtime.

We took the boat right past the provincial Parliament building, and that's when I knew Winnipeg must be a great place to spend a summertime Sunday. Click on this photo and check out the right corner of the image. See the lady spinning on her Lendrum wheel, right next to her fishing companion? Ahh, now that would be a perfect way to spend the day! More to come in the next few days...

PS: Thanks so much for sharing my excitement about Fiber Gathering! Every comment makes me smile!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Guess what!?

Here I am, celebrating Canada Day in Winnipeg.  We're off to enjoy a fish fry with the University of Manitoba Biology Department field station folks.  So, I just check my email, just briefly, and I see this neato listing on Amazon.  I popped it in below for you to see, too.  I'll put the link at the end of the post...maybe it will work, too! 
Pretty neat, huh!?  I will send out a newsletter update and all that kind of thing when I am back home, in front of my own computer.  (I am borrowing the professor's computer for this, so I'm not sure about whether the fancy photos or links will work...)  Heck, it's a holiday and I wanted to celebrate this extra fun with you!  Happy Canada Day, everyone!
Click here!