Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doobie Brothers in Red Deer

Last Tuesday I took a day off work and travelled north to Red Deer, Alberta to hear the Doobie Brothers and I wasn't disappointed.  Like the show in San Antonio last year, they rocked the building, playing all the songs that I wanted to hear.  They opened with Jesus Is Just Alright and performed my favorite, China Grove, for the encore.  The crowd of 3,000 loved it.

Click on picture to enlarge
The only parts I wasn't so fond of were the songs from their upcoming new album, Southbound, which is filled with country music.  As a non-fan of country music I was only interested in classic Doobie Brothers and new rock songs.  Fortunately there was plenty of what I wanted to hear.

One of my favorite songs of the concert was a blues number that I'd never heard the Doobies do before, Long Way Home by Sonny Boy Williamson.  I wish they would record it, and if they already have, I wish I could find a copy of it.  It was amazing.

After about 40+ years together they are very tight musically.  They sound like they do on their albums, only better.  There's nothing like live music!

At one point someone in the audience passed an album onstage, looking for an autograph.  Patrick Simmons looked at the album and stated that it was a album that they never got paid for.  There was laughter and then he signed it.  I wonder what he wrote!

I found a couple of videos on YouTube from the concert that are fairly good quality from Tuesday night in Red Deer.  I hope that the links remain up.  Here is Jesus Is Just Alright and Long Train Running.

Patrick Simmons (left) & John McFee
If the Doobies are playing anywhere close, I'll plan to be there.  To me, their music sounds as good today as it did years ago.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lest We Forget

It's still a couple of weeks until Remembrance Day / Veterans's Day, when we remember those who served and those who died in the wars.  Sadly, this year there will be one more to remember, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

He died from a gunshot to the back from a terrorist punk yesterday in Ottawa.  Cpl. Cirillo was stationed at the War Memorial, a human reminder of all the soldiers who had gone before him, a guardian of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This incident was particularly unsettling to me.  I come from a family who served.  My parents and uncles were in uniform, proudly serving during World War II.

I know this area of Ottawa very well as I went to college just a few blocks away. I would go for a walk to the War Memorial and Parliament Hill when I lived there as they were both peaceful and beautiful places.  That was then.

I remember touring the Parliament Buildings during a school trip when I was in the 6th grade. It was big and impressive and open.  I'm sure that will change now.

So, when I'm thinking of the reason for Remembrance Day and Veteran's Day this year, I'll be thinking of the unknowns, the many who served.  I'll be thinking about my family.  And, I'll be thinking of Cpl. Cirillo - and of Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at-Arms in the Parliament Buildings who stopped the terrorist in his tracks.  Dead.  Mr. Vickers is a hero.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Last year I had to travel to San Antonio, TX to see the Doobie Brothers.  Okay, there were other things to see in San Antonio too, but the Doobies were a highlight.

This year, the Doobies Brothers are coming to me, almost.  Red Deer is about 89 miles/143 km from Calgary, so how could I pass up the chance to see them again?

It's worth taking a day off work to Listen To The Music!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tenntucky Retreat

I'm finally catching up after vacation, and it was a very good one.  I went to Kentucky and to Nashville, knitted, met lots of wonderful people, ate too much and relaxed.  It doesn't get much better than that.

For the first part of the trip I attended the Tennucky Fiber Arts Retreat at Lake Barkley State Resort Park west of Cadiz, Kentucky and near the border with Tennessee.  It was the first time for this retreat and it was expertly arranged by our hosts Joseph, Rachel and Ann. They thought of everything - the resort arrangements, meals, speakers, classes, swag bag, games and had continuous communications with us leading up to the event, and more - and as a result, we had a fun and totally relaxing weekend.

Check out this aerial view of the resort.  Isn't it beautiful?
(c) Lake Barkley State Resort Park
I loved my room which overlooked the water.  Talk about a room with a view!  The balcony was a peaceful place to sit and knit when you wanted a bit of "alone" time.  Otherwise, I was at the main building, knitting and chatting and making new friends.

Click to enlarge
The area reminds me of cottage country in Ontario. All that was missing was the sound of loons.  I wonder if they have loons in this area?

There were four classes being offered.  I have never enjoyed the technique of double knitting but I decided to give it another try.  The class, led by Hank (Henrietta) was very good and I did learn some new things, but I still don't care for double knitting.  I did like the way she taught us to do a two color cast on, however.

I had such a good time that I'm planning to return again next year.  I've already put in for the vacation days at work!

As with all enjoyable events, the time went by much too quickly.  After the retreat I went to Nashville for a few days - saw the sights, visited the Hermitage and two wonderful yarn shops.  More about that another time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blame Kaffe

Often times so many appealing patterns and/or yarns come along that I want to knit them all and there is just not enough time. I was contentedly working away at various projects including the challenging Jubilee Throw by Kaffe Fassett.  Then I learned that Rowan Yarns was sponsoring a new knitalong, a new, easier, afghan by Kaffe Fassett.  I'm a huge Kaffe and Rowan fan so I couldn't resist signing up. 

This afghan consists of 63 blocks, 9 blocks which are each knitted 7 times.  Kaffe is well known for his colorwork and this afghan uses 10 colors, 4 are used in each square.  Many are speculating, and I agree, that the pizzazz will come from the placement of the striped squares.  The patterns for the blocks are released one at a time, about 10 days apart.  The first was released on October 1st and, being on vacation, I've only done 2 of the squares.  I have a bit of catching up to do as the next clue is being released in two days, but I'm confident that I'll be able to catch up.


If another Fassett pattern comes along that I can't resist, and if I can't catch up......