Where were we? Oh, right… Knitting

After an unintentional week off, I’m back at the blog. No real reason why there wasn’t a post last week, unless you count a terribly busy week and a half. What have I been up to?

The week after Canadian Thanksgiving saw two days in the office (co-leading education programs both days), one day at a conference, and Friday the 13th co-ordinating a paranormal investigation on site.  The conference was amazing, for so many different reasons. It was a conference for other Museum professionals in Ontario, and conferences are always great for connecting with colleagues and friends you don’t always get to see because of geography. There are always inspiring sessions and workshops, also making conferences fantastic opportunities. Personally, this conference was remarkable because my co-workers nominated me for an award of excellence, which I received that evening. It was amazing, overwhelming, humbling, nerve-wracking, and truly a gratifying experience.  I feel like I have a lot to live up to, but I’m up for the challenge with my career.

The paranormal investigation was a lot of fun as well.  My museum works exclusively with a local group, and I’d considered many of the team members as my friends; really a great group of guys. We sold a small amount of tickets and increased the time allowed in the museum so the guests really could make the most of the experience. There were some strange bangs and knocks heard, but nothing to really change my septic mind. I’m not completely closed minded on the subject, and I know we’d be happy to have these investigators back. Maybe I’ll be convinced next time.

The following day, my best friend and I were on our way to Kingston to see the Barenaked Ladies as part of their Canada One-Five-Oh tour. Oh my goodness. It was a phenomenal show.  We’ve seen BNL so many times through the years (three this year alone), and this ranks up there as one of the best shows we’ve been to.  Small, intimate theatre, phenomenal set list, great music. There’s a reason they are my favourite band. We ended up meeting three of the four band members after the show, who remembered us because we were the girls in the front row dancing to every song. This was just a great girls weekend away.

New Picture

Last week, why I didn’t blog (as if the week before wasn’t busy enough), I worked most weeknights, and Monday evening I went into Toronto to hear Alan Doyle talk about his new book.  My sister and I ended up getting a picture with him as well.

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Whenever I was able, I had yarn in my hands.  I finished the Dodging Rain Drops Cowl I cast on in early October. It’s a paid pattern in Ravelry, and I’d recommend spending the money and supporting the designer of this beautiful cowl.

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I’ve been working on socks which will be a Christmas gift, which I’ve just picked up again after frogging them and putting them into a time out. Turns out my gauge isn’t what it typically is with a lacework sock pattern… we’re on better terms now after I went down a needle size. There were some hard feelings right after the frogging, let me tell you…

And I’ve been very happily working on my Bigger on the Inside shawl, using yarn I dyed myself earlier this summer.  Once I got used to the ‘Time Vortex Lace’ pattern that Kate Atherley designed, it’s easy to memorize and quite fun to knit.

And with this update, I’m back to knitting. The socks are calling my name.

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts

I work for a small community museum, and not one week goes by without someone asking me if the museum is haunted.  Valid question, perhaps, knowing that the houses are over 150 years old, and deaths and funerals very likely took place in these homes.  Morbid sounding, sure, but that was the customs for the times.  In the Victorian times, if a death occurred, a family or visiting undertaker would prepare the body for the funeral, which most often than not, took place in the home.  Death was less marginalized and spoken of more openly than it is today.  When I give tours through our latest exhibit on mourning customs, I am very aware of my wording and trying to be as sensitive as I can towards the subject matter.  The Victorians were slightly more matter-of-fact about everything.

Inside our period Victorian home; the parlour is currently set up as if ready for a funeral
Inside our period Victorian home; the parlour is currently set up as if ready for a funeral

Very long story short, yes, deaths occurred many years ago at my museum.

Does this mean they are haunted?  That depends on who you ask.  I am rather skeptical about it.  If there has been an ‘encounter,’ there must be a reasonable explanation for it.  Bumps and sounds? We’re in a public park, it must be a sound from outside.  As well, I have not had an ‘apparition’ appear to me.  If someone ever does appear and ask me how it’s going, I’ll re-evaluate my position.  A few of my other co-workers are more open minded and perhaps more receptive to spirits, but I myself haven’t had any experiences, and this is my answer when people ask.  It’s not very exciting, and it’s not the answer more people want to hear.  When people ask the question, I suspect they are looking for confirmation that the story they heard from a friend of a friend is true.  Being scared is supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

Skepticism aside, I participated in a paranormal investigation our museum hosted this weekend.  I remained in our administrative building, so I didn’t go around on the hunt with our visitors, but I heard stories once they returned of meters going off, of signs, and of uneasy feelings.  Everyone had fun.

After the guests left, I closed the buildings with two investigators.

“Do you mind, now that it’s quiet, if we take a few minutes and see if any spirits are around?” I was asked.  “They might not have wanted to be present with so many people going through.”

I didn’t mind, so we sat in our 175 year old house, lights off, 10:45pm, and we waited.  The investigators asked a few questions, and then they asked me to ask a few (that the spirits might be more receptive to a feminine voice).  Either the spirits weren’t present that evening, or I’m not receptive to the spirits, for after about 10 minutes, with not much contact, we went around and locked the building up.

I might be a skeptic, but for good measure, I had salt with me at all times Saturday night.  You never know…

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