Further Adventures in Domesticity

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I actually had the whole week off after the Montreal trip off.   (We were supposed to both have it off, until the Great Appendix Caper in February forced the BF to have to give some time back.)     I have been slow in posting because our internet has been on the fritz for most of it.    Not to say this is a huge problem, as I’ve been keeping myself busy with other things, like this peach lavender jam.

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I was expecting the amount in the processed jars on the left.   I got double what I was expecting.    Fortunately, it’s delicious.

 

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder – Marta McDowell

b06xppyh47-01-_sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_I distinctly remember my mother reading the Little House books to my sister and me before bed, over a longish period of time, as we got them from the library. It was before fourth grade, because it was in our original Portland house. There are only a few books I remember from that bedtime reading series- they had to have something fairly special about them to stick in my mind.

This book talks about Wilder’s connection to the natural world, and how she’d portrayed it in her books. I’d never thought very much about it, but that was definitely one of the things I loved so much about those books – the incredible sense of place she conveys throughout them. I’ve never been to a prairie – but I feel like I’ve experienced it through her eyes in her books.

McDowell breaks down the different landscapes covered by the books, and even certain intervals in the real Ingalls family life that didn’t make it into the more fictionalized version of their life in the book series. (If you want to see the difference – I highly recommend the annotated Pioneer Girl.) She talks about the actual plants and animals Wilder may have encountered, and gives ideas for doing a modern day pilgrimage to those sites. (You can visit the historic sites, but accurate representations of the landscapes are harder to find.) It’s a great book – very interesting for fans of the Little House series, but also an interesting tracing of the natural landscape over the life of a single person, and the wide variety of places she saw, and how much has changed since then. The book ships out at the end of August – I definitely recommend it.

Jardin Botanique Montreal – Outdoor Gardens

On Saturday (6/17), we headed out to the botanical garden, which was an easy subway ride from our hotel.    The place is huge – there’s also an insectarium and a biodome you can visit – I don’t know how people do it.     We managed maybe a quarter of the outside gardens, and the conservatory (that’ll be the next entry).    I need to go back – there are still things I want to see that we didn’t get to.

I really loved how much in the outdoor gardens were plants I could grow in my own garden – I was taking (picture) notes left and right when labels were available.

Governor’s Garden at the Chateau Ramezay

This garden was a really cool find – it’s attached to the Chateau Ramezay Museum and Historic site, but had free access.    It’s set up with sections reminiscent of an earlier 18th century garden in New France.    There’s a potager, an orchard and ornamental sections.    I was so excited to see this – it’s along the lines of the kind of garden I’d like to set up if I had my own space to play with.

Old Montreal and Cirque du Soleil

Here’s where the vacation became international – on Friday morning, we headed up to Montreal.    (It’s an easy two hour drive from Burlington.   What ended up not being easy was finding our hotel, since they’re rebuilding the main bridge over the St. Lawrence, and the road closures are epic, and random.)

We stayed at the edge of Chinatown, which is right next to Old Montreal.   It was two blocks away to be able to wander around the old town, which was lovely.    It actually reminded me quite a bit of the Old Port here, but with older buildings, and more of them.

That night, we had Cirque du Soleil tickets, for Volta.     They were set up on one of the quays on the river, right over the hill from our hotel.    The show was fantastic.   It’s just absolutely amazing what the performers are able to achieve.

I don’t speak French, but I can pick up enough to know that the main clown of the show was an American who was basically telling everyone how bad his French was.    That was fairly funny, considering I otherwise pretty much had no idea what he was saying.

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The above is an example of one of the projections you could see on the sides of many of the buildings at night.   In some cases, they were part of the 375th anniversary celebration for the city.   In other cases, they were adds.     In all cases, they were pretty cool.   I’m a bit surprised I haven’t seen this done elsewhere.   (Though I can see it running into Maine’s billboard law.)

Actual picture date: 6/16/17.