observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

  • Welcome to my photo journal

    Living on Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada Diane loves the scent of forests and rain, the rhythms of the sea, and holds discoveries and stories in high regard.

    Where mornings begin with a drum roll! --Diane M Schuller

    Updated on random Mondays ... simply an online journal of an ordinary life. Come on in to enjoy a breath of West Coast air.


    He came into our lives as a tawny bundle full of p___ and vinegar. He left our lives peacefully, without a whimper.

    Austin ©Diane M Schuller

    Austin was always like the pesky little brother, who had his nose where no one wanted it and had a propensity for using that nose to push his way through doors, flipping hands and arms when he expected you to get up and feed him, or simply putting it in your face to ask you to let him outside in the middle of the night. This garnered him the nickname “push-and-go”.


    He allowed the ‘girls’ to boss him around and always seemed happy to take that position in the pack. So it’s no surprise he always felt safest when someone else was ‘in charge’.  He was never as adept a hunter as Maggie, our Springer Spaniel, or Pearl, our other Australian Shepherd. But he did learn to watch their body language and to often jump in when the prey (usually an innocent vole, mouse, or nasty squirrel) would be flushed out by the girls and be the first to snatch it up.


    He was a born clown and had the cutest way of twisting himself into the most unusual contortions to get attention. His claim to fame was his almost obsessive desire for food of any sort, even if only crumbs. He’d do anything for food and would often try turning himself inside out in the hopes he’d receive a reward for his antics. He was the best vacuum I’ve ever had.

    A very handsome lad he was. He even made it into a picture book in 2010 for Paws for Charity. And he was on the local news September 18, 2012.

    In his final weeks he was desperate not to be out of my sight, quite literally. I knew the reason for that.

    Of course there was so much more to him than that, but I’m trying to keep it together to share with you what a delight he was in our lives for the past eleven years.

    Rest in Peace dear Austin July 18, 2004 – August 27, 2015.


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    andrea - August 28, 2015 - 12:18 pm

    11 is too young. I am so sorry, Diane. It’s a hard loss and he was a beauty. (I still crave a red merle.)

    Susan - August 28, 2015 - 2:46 pm

    oh no..another great loss 🙁 I’m so sorry, Diane. This is such a beautiful tribute to your sweet boy. Sending love and hugs. xo

    Susan - August 28, 2015 - 2:47 pm

    I haven’t been keeping up with other blogs this summer but something made me look at yours today. Beautiful memorial to your beloved dog. I am always grateful for the gifts dogs give us. No wonder we miss them so much.

    Gabriele - August 28, 2015 - 3:18 pm

    You have my deepest condolences. It must have been hard to write this memorial but thank-you for sharing.

    Lisa Gordon - August 28, 2015 - 4:18 pm

    I am so very sorry, Diane. I know how much this hurts. They become such an important part of our families.

    Fly high, sweet Austin. xo.

    Anita - August 28, 2015 - 5:26 pm

    Oh, Diane. I am so sorry. Pearl, and now, Austin. Both beautiful friends. They do leave a big empty spot when they go. I will be thinking of you.

    Sue Halloran - August 29, 2015 - 3:58 am

    Diane, your gallery tribute to Austin is beautiful. Your words and pictures brings tears to my eyes. You have honored him well. I am so sorry for this profound loss and the big hole in your heart. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sue Halloran

    Connie Hull - August 29, 2015 - 5:37 am

    Diane, I am so sorry for your loss. But he is STILL with you…and knows how much you loved him… God bless !

    kathy - August 29, 2015 - 10:12 am

    So sorry for your loss. A beautiful tribute to a beloved family member.

    Candace - August 29, 2015 - 3:21 pm

    Diane, I’m so sorry. I was dreading to see this post. So soon after Pearl, take care of yourself. He was very handsome.

    Aaron & Mark - August 29, 2015 - 8:04 pm

    Diane and John,
    We are so sad to hear that Austin has also made his way over the rainbow bridge. You have written a touching tribute to a beautiful dog. We have no doubt that he will greatly missed. Please know that you are welcome to walk Tim anytime you like. Sending you much love, Aaron and Mark

    Annie - August 31, 2015 - 12:58 pm

    I’m so sorry to read this … Kipling was right, they tear our hearts when they go xxx

    Nancy - September 1, 2015 - 3:39 pm

    Oh Diane, this is a most loving tribute to such a beautiful boy. I understand your sorrow & have shared a love likes yours! How blessed we were to have had such amazing creatures to care for & enjoy for their beginning & in their end, Prayers for Austin & loads of live for you! ???

    Bridie - September 2, 2015 - 2:03 pm

    Oh, Diane. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet friend. Austin was clearly well loved; your tribute to him here is a testament to that. What a hard loss.

    Lionel Daneault - September 18, 2015 - 6:15 am

    I shall miss seeing Austin and John on my morning walks. He was such a handsome dog.

    Sherry - September 19, 2015 - 12:24 pm

    Oh, Diane, I did not see this until just now. My heart aches for you. What a beautiful and happy boy he was and how much joy he brought — and companionship and love. Why do their lives have to be so short? Big hugs to you…xo

    Eden - September 27, 2015 - 9:12 am

    Diane, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Deborah Carr - October 14, 2015 - 2:17 pm

    Oh Diane…I am so sorry to hear about Austin. I always loved the ways in which you captured his character in your photos…and those beautiful blue eyes. How well I know the pain of goodbyes. And knowing that the time is coming…it’s like a tidal wave that you are helpless to stop, isn’t it? My dog heart to yours.

    Murmuration » observed by Diane - January 6, 2016 - 4:28 pm

    […] family and acquaintances for your kind thoughts after I shared about the recent death of our dear Austin, so soon after Pearl’s death as well (but to us they were family members too). It’s […]

    for the knitters

    I think I was meant to be a knitter. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been strongly attracted to yarn, yarn shops, and I’ve even been known to buy yarn — before I ever learned to knit. True story.
    Nordic Winds shawl in Alafoss Lett Lopi www.dianeschuller.com

    I finished my Nordic Wind shawl and am a tad more-than-pleased with it. My first time ever using the Alafoss Lett Lopi icelandic wool. I was concerned it was too ‘rustic’ but trusted the designer. Now that it’s knit up (a rather quick knit) and washed, I’m actually pleased with how it softens. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still on the rustic side, but that was the point of doing this one. I’ve got it safely stored away so I can proudly donate it to an auction for a very worthy local cause this fall: Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs, a non-profit organization that matches rescue dogs to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    hand dyed sock yarn from Spinning Fates

    Does this yarn look at all familiar to any of the knitters out there? If you visit Andi at My Sisters Knitter, you saw the socks she’s knitting up using this pretty yarn. The moment I saw a photo of this over at Andi’s blog, I checked out the details and located the Etsy seller who hand dyes this gorgeous yarn. If you’d like some too I highly recommend checking out Laurel’s Etsy shop, Spinning Fates. This particular yarn is her Spinning Fates Megara in the color Schrodinger’s Cat. My new 47″ ChiaoGoo RED Lace needles have arrived so as soon as I’m finished my current project (a Christmas present for my step-mom), I’ll be starting another pair of socks using this pretty yarn.

    Did I tell you I ordered the knitting book, Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks? I can hardly wait to try some of the patterns. She gives straight forward and easy to follow instructions with each pattern.

    madeline tosh yarn knitting up in Stargazing

    And in case you think all I do is practice piano, entertain, and knit, here’s proof I spend some time in the kitchen.

    homemade corn relish www.dianeschuller.com


    TIP TIME: At this time of year, with all the fresh fruits hanging around the kitchen, the fruit flies are everywhere. Last year I discovered a great and incredibly effective (and easy) way to get rid of them without a single chemical. I use the cider vinegar method shown in this video and it works like a charm. He uses a large bowl, I only use a tiny egg holder and I catch all the fruit flies within 24 hours – gone.

    Do you have a great tip (of any kind) to share?

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    Gabriele - August 8, 2015 - 7:31 am

    i think the yarn bug has bitten me, too. While on vacation I visited a yarn shop called Blazing Needles. The owner was amazing. Two hours later I had a satisfied tummy filled with warm tea, a bag full of smooth colorful yarn, and a crochet poncho pattern which is now 1/3 finished. I’m experiencing that “can’t quit yet” syndrome which has me blazing till my hands feel achy. I love reading about all your activities. Thanks again.

    Andi - August 8, 2015 - 8:00 am

    I love that you said you think you were always meant to be a knitter, as I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. Since I was young, my crafts have mostly consisted of create and playing with yarn in one aspect or another.
    Your Nordic Wind is stunning! Love your color choices. Sometimes I fear working with such rustic, but it always turns out well in my experience as after a good soak…the yarn blooms like nothing else.
    Spinning Fates is an amazing dyer and shop right? One of the many reason why it is one of my very favorite places to shop.

    Toffeeapple - August 8, 2015 - 8:59 am

    I try to keep fresh fruit covered with cloth, that way they don’t seem to find me an my fruit.

    Your shawl is beautiful and I am certain that it will make good deal of money for your charity.

    I am going to look at Spinning Fates, just to drool, you understand!

    Lisa Gordon - August 8, 2015 - 6:09 pm

    Diane, this shawl is gorgeous, and your corn relish looks so yummy!

    steph - August 10, 2015 - 6:01 am

    Your rustic shawl is lovely….what a generous donation!!! Yep…saw that yarn on Andi’s site….and love it just as much on yours!!!!!!!!! Really should be trolling etsy, but I’ve simply got to knit some of the stuff I already have. You know….all that stuff that I bought for ‘retirement’. (hee hee…..and how many years have I been ‘retired’?!)

    Jennifer@threedogsinagarden - August 14, 2015 - 8:14 am

    Love your shawl! Your timing of the tip on how to get rid of fruit flies couldn’t come at a better time. I have them in numbers and they are sooo annoying! I am going to try the cider vinegar. Have a great weekend!

    Bridie - August 23, 2015 - 8:47 am

    You know, I think I was always meant to be a knitter, too. My mum tried to teach me when I was younger—she would have given anything that either my sister or I had interest in learning any of the things she herself is so passionate about—but I wouldn’t sit still long enough to learn. She even taught my first husband, hoping that perhaps he could teach me. That didn’t work either. But oh, now! Now I couldn’t tell you the last time I let a day slip by without knitting for at least 10 minutes. I’ve learned so many life lessons through knitting; things that have nothing to do with what is actually on the needles…

    That Nordic Wind is going to make someone very, very happy. I love that deep purple with the cool grey. And I do love that you’ve chosen to donate it Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs. Someone very dear to me has PTSD from his years with the RCMP, and as I have two children who are blind, one of whom has autism, I’ve become very aware of what a tremendous impact service dogs can make in the quality of life for people with all kinds of challenges. And of course rescue dogs need that extra bit of loving care as well. Such a wonderful gesture.

    I am going to try that fruit fly trick right now! We’ve had very few this year, and then I woke up this morning to swarms of them.

    And finally, I have to know what is in those jars! I am hoping I’ll have time to do some canning this summer, but we just this week my husband accepted a job in another community, and we are moving for September, so I don’t know how much I’ll manage to get done. I hope at the very least to get my grape jelly put away, but our grapes still have a way to go yet. Time may not be on my side.

    Alina - August 25, 2015 - 3:21 pm

    I strongly believe I was born to be a knitter! Even my last name means “sheep” in Russian 🙂 Your shawl look so lovely! I can almost feel its softness!

    Annie - August 31, 2015 - 1:01 pm

    That is such a lovely shawl, here’s hoping it will raise lots of money for such a worthwhile charity.

    Colourful toes to chocolate cake

    “The most wasted of days, is one without laughter.” — e.e. cummings

    I don’t know yet about today, but I can guarantee that we laughed enough the other evening to last us at least a week of those days. We attended an incredible Pirate Party where everyone (all were retirement aged) was dressed up as pirates, some so realistic you’d have thought it was a theatre production! The hosts, the most creative of us all, had themed food and signs but even moreso were their props. A giant patio storage bin became an oversize treasure chest complete with (real) anchor, ‘jewels’, ‘gold’ and such spilling from within. There literally was a plank that had to be walked (with a threat that anyone arriving without pirate attire might have to walk said plank). Even the prizes were all pirate needs (rum anyone?) or ‘gold’ cannon balls. Two ships, carefully anchored to the bottom of their pool, rode the waves all evening long. There were boat races (on the pool), water fights — oh my, were there water fights! Some of the pirates needed a change of pirate clothes after all that. All in all, it was such a fun evening. If only our adult kids (or grandkids) could have seen the antics.

    2nd pair of hand knit socks || www.dianeschuller.com

    Let the bells ring and the banners fly. Feast your eyes on my second pair of socks! I love these ones. Perfect fit, cute colour, and I made them 🙂  I was tickled pink when I discovered that Andi of My Sister’s Knitter actually linked to my first hand knit socks in her recent blog post. Thank you Andi — between you and my lovely neighbour Michele, you two are the inspiration for me finally making socks.

    I’m already on to the next project — a Nordic Wind shawl for the upcoming chilly winter days. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to keep it for guests to snuggle with or if I’m going to gift it. I’ll decide once it’s finished. Speaking of which, I’m amazed how quickly a project knits up when using large needles and bulky yarn, especially after using fine yarn and tiny needles for several projects.

    Alafoss Lopi yarn for Nordic Wind shawl


    Nordic Wind shawl || dianeschuller.com

    With every single item that I knit I’m learning something new with each project. I’m also so pleased that I made the switch to Continental style knitting. It’s more efficient, easier on the shoulders, and a bit faster. Not that knitting fast is something I aspire to. Besides, I enjoy the pleasure of knitting — it’s calming and contemplative. Plus, at the end I’ve made something someone can wear.

    My husband is deeply involved in learning and playing bridge in his retirement. With each of the groups he plays with, they take turns either hosting or bringing a “lunch” to share. We’ve made a bargain that I feel is more than fair so I am still free to do the things I am involved in. That compromise is that he is responsible for making his own “lunch” (it’s really an assortment of cut up snacks, mostly savoury). But there are times when he’d like to have something sweet, other than fruit, to offer. So I don’t mind making the occasional batch of cookies or cake for him. Yesterday I made a chocolate cake for him to take. This is a recipe I’ve been baking for decades (originally from my mom) and it’s so moist that it’s always a hit. It’s also been decades since I’ve made icing to top any of my cakes. You’re likely saying to yourself, “How weird is that!?” The only exception is when I make carrot cake or ginger cake — both get a smooth cream cheese icing. Because I realize so many people are used to icing on cake, I compromised and made an apricot glaze to coat the cake. Hardly anyone tried the cake that John took with him to bridge — I guess they can’t imagine cake without gobs of sugary icing. Their loss; our gain (gain in calories too!). Here it is before adding the apricot glaze.

    rich moist chocolate cake

    I’m leaving you with a glimpse of a busy little bee I captured by camera a few mornings ago. It would slip inside each little hosta flower and emerge with pockets full of pollen including all over its fuzzy little back end.

    bee in hosta flower, Parksville || www.dianeschuller.com

    Finale to this post: I may be the last person on earth who has seen this. But, just in case you too have not yet seen the Theatre Group from Hungary known as “Attraction”, I want to share their amazing art with you:
    Attraction Shadow Theatre performance
    And, if you wish to skip all the preamble, move the red slider bar to the 1:00 minute mark. Enjoy.

    May you enjoy a productive week/weekend enjoying the simple pleasures life has to offer.

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    Mary Braun - August 2, 2015 - 1:45 pm

    Hi Diane,

    Your friend’s Pirate Party sounded like such fun. What did your costume look like? What a wonderful group of friends. A lot of creativity put into such a party and well worth it.

    I never ice cakes either except for birthdays–then just for the pictures. Yours looks delicious.

    May I say congratulations on your socks. That is my next “adventure” too. I try to learn one new thing with each project. I normally make shawls, lap blankets, hats for my church where they are given to different agencies and groups. For some reason, I think socks would be hard. Did you find them hard to do?

    Wishing you a most enjoyable week with no “walking the plank” involved; although, maybe a swim in the pool!


    Bridie - August 2, 2015 - 2:02 pm


    I clicked over to your blog via Ravelry after admiring some of the projects you shared to the Mad About Ewe group. I’ve been enjoying reading through your archives since and was fascinated to learn that you took up knitting as part of stroke recovery.

    I’ve only been knitting a little while longer than you have, and I’m just about to finish my first pair of socks (though It’s not the first pair I’ve started…) I adore your kicky little ankle socks; such cheerful colours! I might have to make myself something similar. Nordic Winds is such a lovely pattern as well. I’ll look forward to seeing more photos of yours when it is complete.

    About the cake: we do a beautiful dense chocolate cake in our home, too, and never use icing either. Sometimes I’ll sift a bit of icing sugar on top, but I usually top it with whipped cream, flavoured with a bit of vanilla bean. It’s light and not too sweet.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and let you know how much I enjoy your writing.



    steph - August 3, 2015 - 5:55 am

    the party sounds like a real ‘hoot’…..we have a dinner club that will often do similar things(unfortunately for some of us…..we have the local community theatre director and the children’s theatre director in our group!!!!)

    and apparently I was the last person on earth to see the shadow company…..thanks so much for sharing. I LOVED IT!!!

    Lisa Gordon - August 3, 2015 - 5:32 pm

    Oh my goodness, Diane, I just LOVE those socks! The colors are wonderful, and they look so soft and cozy!

    If it’s chocolate, I’m in, icing or no icing! Yup, their loss for sure. 🙂

    You have a wonderful week, my friend.

    Claudia - August 5, 2015 - 9:29 am

    Your pirate party reminds me of when we were at Club Med and went to a toga party. We never laughed so hard in our lives – just trying to get into our togas! Your socks are super cute and amazing! Love your planned snug shawl too…. I would keep it for guests to use.

    Toffeeapple - August 6, 2015 - 6:43 am

    Your pirate party sounds like a lot of fun, it’s good that retired people still know how to enjoy themselves.

    Your socks are lovely, I like short socks too. The yarn is a very pretty colourway.

    Michele Matucheski (Sweet Leaf Notebook) - August 19, 2015 - 4:34 pm

    The cake looks good to me! Had I been at your bridge match, I’d have tried a piece! My wedding cake was lemon poppyseed. We asked for a honey butter glaze, knowing I would decorate it with fresh flowers the day of the wedding. The cake-maker said she felt terrible about giving us this “naked” cake. It looked beautiful, and tasted delicious!

    currently, in my garden

    “Have you ever seen a flower down
    Sometimes angels skip around
    And in their blissful state of glee
    Bump into a daisy or sweet pea.” –Terri Guillemets

    Datura unfurling | www.dianeschuller.com

    Mimosa/Silk tree bloom ©Diane M Schuller

    Gorgeous Lily www.dianeschuller.com

    Lily in Qualicum Beach garden www.dianeschuller.com

    Calla Lily seedhead in Qualicum Beach Garden

    Crocosmia seedhead www.dianeschuller.com

    Hibiscus in Qualicum Beach garden www.dianeschuller.com

    Datura (moonflower) unfurling || dianeschuller.com

    “A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions — so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.” –Terri Guillemets

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    Candace - July 26, 2015 - 12:07 pm

    Stunning, Diane. I especially love 3rd and 4th to last.

    K&B by the Sea - July 28, 2015 - 8:11 am

    Diane, your flowers are beautiful! I especially love the lilies. Much to my surprise, we have some lovely lilies in the backyard of our rental house. I’ve never seen burgundy & orange tiger lilies and bright yellow & red lilies before! I’ve also never seen lilies like yours – so pretty 🙂

    Gabriele - July 29, 2015 - 4:56 am

    seriously beautiful….

    Lisa Gordon - July 29, 2015 - 5:53 pm

    Diane, these are just beautiful!
    I especially love the last one.
    I hope you are having a wonderful week. xo.

    Jennifer - July 30, 2015 - 1:47 pm

    Lovely flower portraits. I have seen that particular salmon colored Oriental Lily in person and it is a gorgeous flower.

    Steve - July 30, 2015 - 4:12 pm

    Exquisite flower images!

    Toffeeapple - July 31, 2015 - 7:52 am

    I recognise Lily and Hollyhock, but am mystified by the other images. They all look lovely though.

    First socks

    “I find people interesting. People trying hard are interesting. People with a passion are interesting – whether it’s old cars or taxidermy or knitting.” — Clare Balding. (I agree with you Clare)

    I did it. I made my own socks. I’ve held off making socks because I’ve been intimidated by the many knitters who grumble about doing short rows (for the non-knitters out there, that’s basically how you shape the toes/heels). I buried those intimidations and dipped my toe into sock making. This was a project filled with firsts for me: First pair of socks; first pair made toe-up; first pair socks made two-at-a-time (although I’ve made mittens two-at-a-time); first short rows; first eye-of-the-partridge heel; first time using the seamless Judy’s magic cast on.

    two-at-a-time socks || www.dianeschuller.com

    I think they turned out not half bad and there are no mistakes — at least none that I’m aware of! I’ll admit they are a tad loose but I’ll use a smaller needle next time and that will make a difference. Since I strongly dislike using double pointed needles, I much prefer using the magic loop method (two needles; one long cord). And a note about the colour: You’ll see each photo of my socks is either black and white or a varied tone of black and white. That’s because I didn’t care for the colour of the yarn and I really, really did not like it as I was knitting and especially once it was complete. I dislike the colour so much I plan on dying the socks. That will be another first for me.

    hand knit socks

    Besides learning some new techniques, I’ve also learned that I really do not care much for variegated yarns, at least the ones with high contrast. Yet, I do enjoy the self-striping yarns. I’m full of conundrums it seems.

    hand knit socks


    For knitters out there, here are the stats:

    Ravelry notes

    Yarn: Yarn Indulgences BFL Sock in colourway, Water and Sprouts

    Pattern: Basic Toe-up Socks with a Heel Flap by Liat Gat

    I’m quite excited to actually begin another pair. I’m also seriously thinking socks would make a great gift item so there are more socks in my future for sure.

    hand knit toe-up, two-at-a-time socks

    “Knitting is clothing made in spare moments, or round the fire, whenever women gathered together… It’s something to celebrate–clothes made in love and service, something women have always done.” — Anne Bartlett

    Do you enjoy a challenge? Does a challenge motivate you or intimidate you?

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    Jessie - July 12, 2015 - 10:32 pm

    Nice work on your first socks! I love that first quote, its so true. People with a passion about something can make anything interesting!

    steph - July 13, 2015 - 5:09 am

    you certainly don’t do things half-way….two at a time, first time sock knitter?!? You go girl!!! They turned out great. I’m sure you know…..socks are addictive, so hopefully, you’ve cleaned out a drawer; you’ll be filling it up soon!

    Gabriele - July 13, 2015 - 5:17 am

    Boy, I’m so impressed. I watched my daughter knit socks and appreciate the time and patience. My socks are off to you. Whoops, I think the saying is my hat is off to you.

    Candace - July 13, 2015 - 8:53 pm

    They look so soft. Congrats on a new skill.

    Andi - July 15, 2015 - 7:30 am

    Fantastic!!! Those socks are beautiful.
    You are rather amazing. You tried so many different techniques for your first socks.

    Lisa Gordon - July 19, 2015 - 7:30 am

    Diane, they are just wonderful!!
    You are truly such an inspiration.

    susan - July 21, 2015 - 6:40 pm

    Well they came out beautifully, Diane! And while you may not like the variegated yarn in color, I think it looks gorgeous in the photos..especially in sepia.

    As far as challenges go, I have at times been motivated and intrigued and other times scared and intimidated. But it feels so good when there is success! 🙂

    Christina - July 26, 2015 - 12:40 pm

    Your socks are wonderful! Congratulations! I always say that knitting socks makes me feel like a “real knitter”. 🙂 Silly I know!

    Cindy - August 11, 2015 - 8:49 pm

    Thamks for sharing. I’m a novice knitter and I find socks intimidating. You’ve inspired me to give it a try. ?

    Summer potpourri

    Rudyard Kipling was named after Rudyard Lake where his parents met.

    Heard on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, December 15, 2014: Rudy Wiebe responding to the Proust questionnaire. Wiebe was asked, ‘What’s your greatest fear?’ His response: “hurting someone I love … my greatest fear would be damaging someone I love spiritually.”

    An interesting tidbit about how society evolves through the ages. Currently considered a craft done primarily by women, knitting was predominantly once a male trade — yes, that’s true. And at one time there was actually a type of knitting union (I’m not joking) founded in Paris, France back in 1527. It’s said that no women were allowed.

    Ramona Clematis ©Diane M Schuller

    Aren’t those three little bits of interesting trivia? I thought so. I’m delighted some of you sent me messages letting me know you might like to read the occasional reprint of some of the Eco columns I wrote. In that regard, the plan is to reprint one of my old columns perhaps once a month. Today is simply casual and random.

    Today also happens to be Canada Day. It’s our 148th birthday party. We’re getting better with age, at least I hope we are (politicians definitely not included).

    I’m slogging my way through a Citron shawl. In the summer, I tend not to get nearly as much time for sitting and knitting so this one’s been on the needles since June 1! But another hour or so should have it bound off and complete. I’m very anxious because as soon as I have this thing completed, I plan to make my first pair of socks and am really looking forward to it.

    Today has certainly been a real potpourri of jots and thoughts. So here’s my final string of words for the day:

    I love the cry of the gulls, the scent of the sea, and the hush of the waves on a day like today.

    © Diane M Schuller : French Creek, BC

    Also of interest on the web:


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    Sherry Galey - July 2, 2015 - 4:44 am

    I do love your trivia, Diane; it captures my imagination! Aslo your stunning black and white! And your Web tidbits. I’m also a fan of Mumford and Sons and Shawna Lemay!

    steph - July 2, 2015 - 5:43 am

    I got so caught up in your book link yesterday that I failed to comment….oops! Sorry! Citron is one of the few shawls I’ve actually knit again (3 times, I love it so!!!!!) Enjoy! (I enjoyed immensely your photos!!!!)

    Jennifer@threedogsinagarden - July 3, 2015 - 12:15 pm

    You do present a real mix of thoughts. I will pick up on one of them: the Proust questionnaire. How would I answer the same question?
    Mostly I have many silly little everyday fears like spiders and wasps (probably because I have been bitten so many times). I guess my biggest fear is losing my mental faculties as I get older. I value my creativity and imagination. I’d hate to lose those gifts.

    Lisa Gordon - July 4, 2015 - 4:23 am

    Love reading your thoughts, Diane!
    Hope you will show us your shawl when it is finished.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend! xo.

    Gabriele - July 4, 2015 - 5:52 am

    Knitting union for men? Crazy! Loved your trivia. Happy summer.

    Annie - July 10, 2015 - 3:47 am

    I did enjoy all the links and trivia in this post, having finally made it back into blogland after a week away. One teeny correction though … Mumford and Sons are definitely British … you only have to ask Wikipedia, and my friend’s aunt who know’s Ben Lovatt’s mum. Marcus Mumford has dual UK/USA nationality as he was born to British parents while they were temporarily overseas, but there’s not a Canadian among them, sorry. (Can you tell I’m a fan!)

    susan - July 12, 2015 - 7:18 am

    What interesting bits of trivia and thoughts, Diane and I love your images, especially that first one – so elegant! Anxious to see that shawl you are working on. Off to check out those links now! Have a lovely week!