Of Perfumes and Gods

I have the honour of having some of my photos used in Aina Eris’s blog post about frankincense and the Omani perfume house, Amouage.

Aina has done some great research on the subject, and is a captivating writer.

I invite you to read her post, Of Perfumes and Gods. She writes in Spanish as well as English.

Of perfumes & gods: Olibanum in a flask
Aina is also publishing an eBook, “Nature Meets Culture’ Stories.  I am looking forward to its completion.


Posted in Into Eastern Russia | 2 Comments

Back in The Sewing Room

i have been away from my blog for quite a while.  So much has happened here, and while I keep thinking about writing, and am alway taking photos with this in mind, the fingers have not been connecting to the blog writing.  I guess that now is the best time to begin, so here goes.

I am on a mission to begin clearing up my list of UFO’s. To non-quilters, that translates as un-finished objects ( of the fabric kind). I when through my boxes and added them up…….. 55, not counting the one that I decided I will NEVER do, as I just don’t like it.

I also have quite a few Craftsy classes that have been waiting for me, and I am plunging into them as well. Worked through Anne Petersons Free Motion Quilting class, and now am on one with Kimmie Brunner on using rulers to create designs.  I had to play electrician on my Bailey and changed out the off- on switch for one that you hold on and it quits stitching as soon as you let go.  I was getting knots at my points, and now it is much better.  This is a bit of what I have been doing…….. Not perfect by a long shot, but after not using my quilting machine for two years, I’m a bit rusty. 

You can see the knots in it.  I’ve been working on its using circles and ovals as well, and am amazed at what you can do.

I did finish a table topper that was only 2 years old, which just needed quilting. 


I have been working on the Block of the Month that the Norwegian guild was doing, and have the block all made, including a jumbo paper-pieced medallion star. Now, I just have to figure out a layout.  The colours are red, blue and white, and all fabrics have snowflakes on them…….I was cold in Norway after 5 years in the Middle Eastern sun. 


One last one -almost the first paper-piecing I did……. A mystery in 2002. It was waiting a long time, but I finally got “around to it”. 


Time here has been busy, with yoga and tai chi classes, joining a mahjong group, and finding several different quilting circles to belong to. I have also bee lucky to have my son and granddaughter here most weekends since Christmas.

I promise to get busy sorting out my photos and begin showing you what an interesting place I have found myself in this time.  Hopefully, for a long time as well. 

Posted in Into Eastern Russia | 13 Comments

Repatriation – The Driving Question

Well, after being back in Canada for almost three months, I have come to the conclusion that all countries have their quirks and silly regulations.  Being overseas for almost 8 years, and butting our heads against numerous road blocks, I think we had developed a rose-coloured-glasses view of our home and native land.

Well, just so you know, it AIN’T SO!

It was no trouble renting a place to live, sorting out bank accounts, and even finding a job.  No problem renting a vehicle, getting used to actually understanding the people around you (most of the time). Not a hitch at all to re-activate our old health-care numbers. Nary a delay or question regarding clearing our goods through customs.

No – the big problem was driving – or rather the acquiring of licences and purchasing – or rather register – of vehicles.

Buying the truck was easy – have money, no problem.  But we couldn’t register it without a valid Alberta drivers licence……… and you can only have one if you live here, which is why we had to begin at square one.

Bring all the papers to the registry office – including our apartment lease to prove that we do live here.  OK – firstly, the photocopies of our Kuwaiti licences bear no weight at all – you need the physical card, which of course, we had relinquished in Oman. “We could get a letter of verification from the Department of Transportation in Kuwait – but we all know how long that would take – and then it would have to be signed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait, and the Kuwait Embassy in Canada.  No – not an option.

Next problem – we need our Norwegian licences translated – and they don’t have anyone on their approved list for Norwegian.  Luckily, there is a Norwegian Consulate here in Calgary.  It only took two weeks to get the translations – while our shiny new paid-for truck languished at the dealer ship.

OK – now David is OK to swap his licences (Omani and Norwegian) for an Alberta one, as without counting the Kuwait experience, he still had less than a three-gap in accepted experience…… he has his licence…. and his truck.

I was not so lucky.  My Alberta licence expired a earlier, so I had to do both the written text, and the driving test as well.  We had done an extensive driving test in Norway which I enjoyed thoroughly, so I wasn’t worried about that, but did havea few twinges of being stymied by trick questions on the written knowledge test.

Boy – was I wrong.  The written test (done on a computer) was easy.  And the driving test consisted of being treated like a 16-year-old moron for half an hour.  I passed the test, and got my licence, but an still reeling from the demoralizing experience.

Non-the-less, we are here, and pretty well everything is now in place – and we are glad to be back near family again, in spite of Canada’s somewhat silly rules.

Posted in O Canada | 8 Comments

Here it comes….. Samhain 2014

Here it comes….. Samhain 2014.


Here is an article from a fellow blogger on the origins of Halloween…… some pretty interesting  information.


Hope you enjoy it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment


……is a  funny thing. I realized that at the football game last night.

After living overseas for almost 8 years, and only flying back for month-long holidays and a mad scramble to visit family and friends, I felt more like a citizen of the world. Canada was where I was born, and it definitely has many advantages over a lot of other countries, but… did I really want to live there?

I remember the first time I went overseas, during my university years.  I went to the UK with a choir, and as well as singing in several music festivals, we toured all over England, northern Wales, Scotland and even spent a couple of nights in Dublin.

Our first concert was in the small Welsh village of Hope, not far from Chester – and also very close to the festival town of Llangollen, where we competed.  Our conductor was Welsh, and he had taught in Hope.

To close our concert, we sang “O Canada” – and then the audience stood as one, and treated us to the national anthem of Wales. Shivers ran down our spines as we sang – they doubled when those proud Welsh thundered back in such amazing voice and harmony.  It was quite moving to sing our song in another land.

I also remember the choir breaking into song with “Something To Sing About” as we landed back in Canada on our return home.

So…. back to last night.  Flags waving, a stadium of over 30,000 football fans following the soloist in “O Canada”…….. we get half way through, and all of a sudden there are tears in my eyes, and my throat is too choked up with emotion to sing the rest.

Yes – I am Canadian – proud to be, and happy to be back in my native land.

Posted in O Canada, Travels | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Hi, Remember me?


I have been definitely incommunicado for a long time. Life takes twists and turns that one does not expect. Even if you somewhat expect the new direction, the daily living out of the change can be overwhelming.

We have wandered again…………. And are now back in Canada. We arrived in Calgary September 2, after traveling three quarters of the way around the world.

We are in the process of setting our new direction, probably working here on Canada. We are temporarily in a small furnished apartment in southern Calgary, close to all amenities, including a huge quilt shop.

Getting used to be able to read all the signs and understand the store clerks. Living on the 10th floor………never done that before either.

We loved through three days of unseasonable snow here.




Our air shipment arrived at the door this morning, containing all of our warm clothing…… now the weather has turned nice again. But it also contains my sewing machine, and a few projects. I am really excited about this.

I have found a twice-a-week Tai Chi class to go to, and with it some people to talk to. And our gorgeous granddaughter live here too.

Time will tell just where we will end up, in Calgary, grande Prairie, Estevan, or some where farther afield.

But life is good, I am back, and still have lots of stories to tell of my adventures in far away lands.

Posted in O Canada | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Afternoon Swim

At the local regional park on Last Mountain Lake, they have lane swimming after lunch. Today, Brenda and I final made it there.


No photos of us in action, but it was wonderful. I did 32 laps and even some front crawl, which I find really tiring. The water was the perfect temperature for it.

I was so happy, considering that it is a year since I last did anything but play in the water.

We will be leaving tomorrow, do this is a one-time shot. Sure wish I could do this every day!

Posted in Into Eastern Russia | 2 Comments