Living In Red Deer, Alberta

blog window 1Today I was going to post a lovely post about snowshoeing, but it didn’t happen. What happened instead is what you see in the picture above. Enough said.

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Then I was going to put up a ranting post, but I decided “Less is More”. So I have decided to present just a few concise facts.

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Living in Red Deer – My Year in Review

– 1   incident when I walked into our garage to find two guys in the garage casing the place.

1   smashed window on our van (today).

– 2   garage break-ins and thefts.

3   separate bullying incidents, with three separate children (aged 5, 9 & 10) in the span of three months in the same school.
(Evidently I have exceeded my “bullying limit” and the school has stopped responding to my emails in attempt to find a resolution to the latest event.)

Now let me share an irony. We moved to Red Deer from a bedroom community across the River Mersey from Liverpool in the U.K., and worked in Liverpool. One of the reasons we moved was an improved lifestyle. No one takes a move like this lightly, immigration is a hassle, it’s costly, and it is darn hard work starting completely from scratch. Liverpool, when we lived there was the land of car break-ins; you took your radio with you when you parked your car, you put a club lock on your steering wheel when parked so no one would nick your car. You have alarms on EVERY house and car. You convert your interior door knobs to be locking ones just in case some one broke in, this made it harder for thieves to steal every single thing in your house. Shops are all metal shuttered when closed due to break-ins,the streets resembling a war torn country. But that only slowed down the thefts, then they just started driving vehicles into the buildings to get the job done.

Now here is the thing, we have had MORE criminal activity against our household and vehicle in the past year in Red Deer than we EVER faced in Liverpool. Ironic ? Depressing? Frustrating? Pathetic? You choose.

Is this an improved lifestyle?……………….No.

Is this a policing issue? ………………………No.

Is the a societal issue?………………………..Yep.

Quite honestly I could make my millions by developing a “jerk counter” and selling them in Red Deer, because there are an awful lot of jerks in this city anymore.

Anyways, enough said, well done Red Deer, you’ve outdone yourself. Liverpool, U.K. (and area) is now a safer place to be than Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. (And trust me, any Brit reading this is right now shaking their head and saying “HOLY CRAP”….well in Liverpool they are saying something else but I certainly can’t write that here! LOL!)

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Buy Local, Sell Local, Source Local

It has been a very busy week. It seems that this week all my different creative worlds collided. This week saw the completion of the book illustrations for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” by Katherine Weisse. The week also saw the completion of a photography job for Central Alberta Economic Partnership (C.A.E.P.). On top of all that one of my fibre projects found a new local home.

coffee sweater

coffee sweater

A little while ago I put up a post called “Busy, Busy, Busy”. The project I was working on were my “Coffee Sweaters”, little sleeves to keep your hands cool while drinking a cup of take out coffee. The “Coffee Sweaters” are made of 100% wool that I hand dye in micro batches with natural dyes. I then hand knit each little “Coffee Sweater” trying to make each one unique.

coffee sweaters

This week my “Coffee Sweaters” found a new home in an amazing shop called Sunworks, in Red Deer, Alberta. If you are ever in Red Deer it is definitely worth checking out this store, it has an amazing selection of housewares, books, cards, gifts, local art work, a café and a gallery. It is one of those places that you can easily spend an hour just looking at some very tempting things. I am a big believer in the “Buy Local” movement, but it is also great to “Sell Local”.

Sunworks, Red Deer, Alberta

Sunworks, Red Deer, Alberta

In keeping with the “local” theme, I had an exciting delivery arrive today, a shipment of yarn from Custom Woolen Mills (Carstairs, Alberta). What makes this shipment so exciting is that I can buy wool from a mill that is less than 100 miles from home. Wool milled in my own province, not Asia. This is exciting. I really like the option of being able to source my materials locally. I think there is a lot of value in that.

yarn

The last few days have been spent dyeing, dyeing, dyeing and knitting, knitting, knitting. I can hardly wait until I have knit up my stash of dyed yarns so that I can start dyeing and knitting my locally sourced wool yarn.

knitting in the round

I will be having updated “Coffee Sweaters” as I knit them posted on my other blog www.debrahunter.wordpress.com and on my website www.thehuntergroup.ca . The  “Coffee Sweaters” are available at Sunworks or you can purchase them from me directly. My sites will also have book purchase links for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” in the very near future.

Lac Des Arcs, Alberta

lac des arcs, alberta, canada

A couple of weeks ago we drove to the coast for a longish weekend. When we are doing these trips (1100+ km one way) we usually drive through the mountains admiring the scenery but never stopping in the hope of making it to Vancouver as quickly as possible and catching the first ferry out in the morning. On this particular day I just had to take a few pictures of Lac des Arcs. Lac des Arcs is one of the first real views of mountains and lakes as you approach Banff National Park from the east along the Trans Canada Highway. The mountains reflecting on a solid sheet of ice was just too good to pass up. What these pictures don’t show was the gale force wind and how truly cold it was. However I feel the pictures are very beautiful and show a time of year, half way between fall and winter, that isn’t often photographed.

lac des arcs, alberta, canada

lac des arcs, alberta, canada

lac des arcs, alberta, canada

 

Looking for the Bright Side in a Whole Lot of Snow – Red Deer, Alberta

We have just come out of a serious snowstorm, or shall I say “blizzard”. I was originally going to post pictures of the bad weather, of people stuck, and of snowplows, but then I thought “How boring!”.

Anyone who lives in a snowy nation knows snow happens, and with careless driving you will get stuck or in an accident. Quite honestly if most of the people moaning about the snow just picked up a shovel and got to work things wouldn’t be so bad, the sidewalks could be cleared as well as parking spots. This is what we spent yesterday doing, twice, to the tune of having shoveled out over 600 linear feet of sidewalk….and we get to do it again today!

Late yesterday afternoon I decided to shoot something positive even though it was a very snowy, windy and cold day. I popped across the street where there is a forested area and decided it was a great day for macro photography. I managed to find a few gems of nature dotted amongst the snowy landscape.

rosehips

berry

rosehip

leaf

The snow continues to fall lightly today in starts and stops. I thought I would also share a couple of pictures of our house and yard to show just how much of the white stuff has dropped.

roof

The spot where our two roofs join has snow 3-5 feet in depth.

have a seat? The snow is up to the chair's arms.

have a seat? The snow is up to the chair’s arms.

No outdoor dining today!

No outdoor dining today!