Hello Bracebridge

Sorry for the radio silence, I have been busy moving from my adopted hometown of Parry Sound, Ontario to Bracebridge, Ontario about 50mi (80km) southeast of Parry Sound in Muskoka.

Muskoka is famous for its lakes, it IS cottage country for many in the more urban and while there are many beautiful parts of Ontario where people have cottages (including Parry Sound/Georgian Bay, Haliburton, and the Kawarthas which are all located within spitting distance of Muskoka), Muskoka is the grande dame of cottage country, with three large lakes playing host to cottagers since the late 19th century.

While many people choose to move to Muskoka in their retirement for its beauty (and to live the cottage lifestyle all year round), I moved for my job.  It is only a contract, but there are lots more options for me to work as a Stewardship/Conservation Educator or a Community Planner as there is a much larger population and more employers in my field.  Also, after living with my parents on and off since graduating from grad school in May 2010 it was time to move out again.

I moved just over a week ago and I'm finally settling in. I found a great apartment, out of town right on the Muskoka River with hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings, and thanks to my mom and sister it is starting to feel like home.

While things are going well here, but I'm pretty homesick for Parry Sound and Georgian Bay.

One of the constants in my life has been moving.

Growing up, my Dad's job moved us a few times, and since graduating from high school I have been moving every 2-3 years. When I moved to Parry Sound, it was just supposed to be for the summer, I was supposed to get a summer job and find something permanent in the fall.  Then summer turned to fall, fall into winter and my contract at the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve was up and I still hadn't found anything else, a few months of unemployment and I came across another contract, for a year this time.  I couldn't believe I had found work again in Parry Sound, it is a town of 6,500.

Without realizing it, Parry Sound had become as much a hometown as I have ever had.  Weekly dinners with my grandparents, going to the gym with my sister, making some really good friends (hi Laura), falling for my sister's puppy, were all things I wasn't expecting when I moved "home" to a backwater town in Northern Ontario from Austin, Texas.

For the first time in my life, moving away doesn't force me to abandon my old life.  Parry Sound is a 1 hour drive from Bracebridge, I did it every day this summer.  I already have my first trip back planned for September 29th for a community event (Doors Open Parry Sound) and a party at my sister's place and to try out the new taco place that just opened the weekend I moved.

I am still knitting, and after a week of unpacking I spent last Saturday lazing around and finishing off a shawl/stole/scarf thing in Tosh DK and maybe this week I will tell you about my yarn show as an indigodragonfly Minion and how I got to meet the Yarn Harlot and finally posting about my other pair of Ravellenic Socks!

Adventures in my own backyard

On Easter Sunday I figured I needed to get out of the house (and away from my knitting/spinning/weaving which is fun but quite sedentary) and so I put on my shoes and went for a little adventure in my own town.  Armed with my iPhone for my This American Life fix, and my camera,  I headed out for a little walk, 2.5 hours and 10km later I had been on a little adventure in my own backyard.

It is amazing how I can live in such a small town (pop. 6,190, 5.16 sq. mi.) and still find new places to wander through and check out.

It was a grey day, but it was a great time.  It's fun to see what secrets are hiding in your own community.

On November and Winter

So I know that I live in Canada, and that winter does come eventually, but this year the fall has been so wonderful and long that I kind of forgot that winter would ultimately arrive.  Unlike the northeast US we didn't get that freak snowstorm a few weeks back, so Thursday was our first real snowfall of the season.

I just snapped a few shots on my way home from work on Thursday, before it all melted.  I am not the biggest fan of winter, but I must confess there is something magical about snow before it piles up and becomes a nusiance, like in February.

On Planning and Guilds

As alluded in the most recent WIP Wednesday, I have been taking my fiber world beyond the confines of my house, family and blog, and starting up a new group, the Georgian Bay Fiber Guild, based in Parry Sound.

We had our first meeting last night, and I think I can qualify it as a success.  Carla and I have been working it for a month or so and were ready, but there is nothing like the worry that no one will show up.

In the end, we had a great turnout for a first meeting, with 10 (including myself and Carla), and we had everyone from weavers, to quilters, to machine knitters, to rug hookers.  It seemed everyone had or is currently a knitter so it is neat to share so much in common and yet have so many other skill sets.

There are already plans for field trips (one of our members raises Churro Sheep) to workshops (another member is a registered, official rug hooking instructor), to weekend Stitch 'n' Bitch groups and the possiblity of road trips to events across Ontario (K-W 2012 here we come!).

It is so gratifying to meet a group of such impressive and skilled women (no men yet, but maybe one day), and have the chance to spin in public for the first time.

My wheel travelled beautifully (she is a Traveller) and worked like a dream, I think there may be a few more wheels out next time.

If you are in the Parry Sound-ish area and are interested in joining you can check out the website or drop me a line here or on Ravelry and I can get you all the details.