Sunday, November 29, 2009

the tour goes on

The professor got back to Winnipeg safe and sound and brought home a treat for me. He often goes to collect his moths in an area near Homestead, Florida. He goes to the Robert is Here fruit stand, where they sell all sorts of tropical fruits. Usually, he has himself a keylime milkshake (these milkshakes are top notch!) and he buys me passion fruits, which I really enjoy when he gets home. What is particularly interesting is that technically, bringing fruit from the US to another country can be difficult. (it's one of those questions they ask you on the customs form.) However, there is no real danger of contaminating Winnipeg with passion fruit diseases. One winter's hard freeze will certainly get rid of any tropical fruit diseases we might bring along home in one bag of passion fruits!

The "heat wave" here seems to be passing and we've had a couple of light dustings of snow. The snow doesn't stay around for long and it doesn't amount to much. Supposedly, that will change soon. In the meanwhile, I shot a photo of it so I can remember --we didn't have much snow in November. :)

I'm still really enjoying my time outside. Granted, it hasn't gotten much above about 35F this week, but that is apparently "tropical" for Winnipeg this time of year. I kept meaning to take a photo of the amazing elms that line our street...and then of course, the canopy of greenery turned color and came down. Yet, even now, the trees are majestic skeletons that reach the sky.

In the U.S., the professor and I have been in many small towns where there is some mention of the elms that "used to" line the streets. Sometimes there are replacements--other varieties of trees--and sometimes there are few trees along the streets. That is because Dutch Elm Disease basically wiped out the elms in most of North America. Manitoba has a lot of its elms left...cold weather and an active prevention program have saved many elm trees.

I'd never seen elms "the way they used to look" before moving to Winnipeg, and I find it awesome and inspirational. Every walk under the canopy of these trees finds me thinking about how lucky it is that, so far, these elms have survived.

I can't let the end of November come without mentioning the 95th birthday month of our house. Most people who buy an older home have no idea exactly when it was built. There's a lot we're still wondering about ours, frankly. However, we have this little homemade "plaque" above the entry to our living room. It's a bare spot of plaster that's never been painted. It's framed by molding and on the image to read it for yourself! (also, if you can figure out that first name at the top, please let me know what you think it says in the comments!) Hopefully, we'll be here for a big bash on November 18, 2014. Seems like 100 years is a good reason to throw a party...maybe an "open house?"

We are celebrating this big birthday by doing lots of home repairs. The professor feels he has a new hobby called "recreational plumbing!" (as in, if you want the toilet to work or that faucet to stop dripping, well, take up plumbing as a serious hobby!) I've also been hanging pictures, cleaning, and trying to take care of other house frequent radiator bleeds. It's an adventure, owning a house this old, but so far I like the house because of (rather than despite) its age.
Another special part of this house is that the front door opens into a small anteroom. This room has hooks for coats, window seats for putting on boots, and room for dog towels, leashes, and other important winter details. It's also the place where I am able to show you how my knitting is being put to good use!
Many of the knitted samples from my books have been kept pristine, in case anyone should like to see these as a trunk show or at a lecture I give...someday. (the requests aren't exactly rolling in...) That said, my handspun cashmere Gator Gaiter, pictured here from Knit Green, is seeing a lot of use. (project links are available on The white hat is the women's or small size of the Icelandic Winter Cap from Fiber Gathering. I love this hat and it is wearing very well!

Both of these projects are quick ones, if you're looking for holiday knitting ideas... I can vouch for them both--at least for me, they are warm, reasonably attractive, and comfortable.
You'll note there are no more pictures of my Icelandic wool spinning--I think I've just finished bobbin seven. It's getting a little monotonous, so no more photos for now...
So, what do you think that first name is on the signed portion of my living room wall? Any guesses?

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Blogger Alison said...

Henzly? Jack, definitely, below that.

We have a Chinese elm in our yard; the city used to inspect it every year and give out strict orders on how any branches or leaves from it were or were not to be disposed of, but they laid off the tree workers some time ago and have made no mention since of disposal issues. But the tree lives on outside our kitchen.

I'd love to see what a "real" elm looks like in full leaf.

--AlisonH at

November 30, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Alison, I will try to remember to shoot a photo of the elms next spring/summer. It is an amazing sight. I won't lie though, we've been so overwhelmed this year that I didn't have any spare time to snap a shot! Also, I often have two dogs attached, and two dogs plus camera sounds a little complicated. (this is when I need that extra set of hands...)

Also, we too have all sorts of rules about how to dispose of elm bits. The tree trimmers that came this summer told us they were legally required to hold off trimming an elm until after Aug. 1 and then would remove all limbs to the specially designated landfill. That's part of how you prevent Dutch elm, apparently!

November 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Jame said...

Elizabeth and I think that first name looks like either Hungley or Henigley. Neither are names that I've run across
before. We also had a discussion about whether the first letter was an "H" or "K".

November 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Ah, Canadian November as I remember it. Cold, but no snow to speak of. Then one day it seems *warmer* and, yay! SNOW!!

The first letter of the first name looks exactly like the uppercase 'H" we were taught in grade school - but is different from the 'H' in 'Hall'. I wonder if the writer started trying to do their best copperplate and gave up? The entire word looks like 'Hemgley' or Henigley'. Perhaps the local planning department or history archive have some documents that shed light on the mystery?

December 2, 2009 at 4:02 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I'm betting it's some variation of Henzley... Hinley...

December 3, 2009 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

You folks have the same guessing going on that I have! No idea what that name says...I will likely do more research on my house as time passes. Sometime, I might know what that first name actually says!

December 3, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

I think that it is so incredibly cool that you have this signature on your living room wall! What a wonderful 'document'. :)

December 4, 2009 at 8:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home