Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February ~ the year of the unending winter

I was tempted to pull out a few springlike February photos from yesteryear to post here today...since I'm thinking we have all had enough snow for this year.

But winter just seems to keep rolling though the valley, so we will end this month as we began...with winter photos. 

On February 1st, I had a visit from an 'old' high-school friend. The wind was howling and it was frigid out...but we bundled up and went for a walk at Cheam Wetlands Park.  We were the only ones there and quite enjoyed our brisk walk around the lake...until we heard what sounded like a very loud and hungry cat 'meowing' somewhere in the trees near the trail. A cougar? Bobcat? We did not want to find out.  We backtracked to the safety of our car and continued our visit over a warm cup of coffee indoors instead. Though Carol and I rarely see each other, we always just pick up where we left off.  Love those forever friends!

Then came Valentine's Day.  Emme and Spencer reminded me that we used to have Valentine's parties.  Maybe we should have one again.  And so we did. My five granddaughters came for a tea party and Grandpa volunteered to take the boys on an outing.

Lucy, Maggie and Ranen stayed for a sleepover. For breakfast?  XOXO pancakes.

Had we known what kind of a winter we were in for, we may have thought twice about booking a trip to Iceland in February!  But we were committed...and we totally enjoyed our little adventure.   Once I have sorted through all the photos, I'll do a few posts about Iceland. For now, I'll just give you a little peek.

We spent our first afternoon at the Blue Lagoon...natural geothermal pools that cover many acres.

We so enjoyed our time there...one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland.

We saw glaciers, rivers, waterfalls, lava caves, hotsprings, geysers and much more. 

We went from early until late every day...and made the most of our six day trip. It was another excellent adventure with good friends that we have traveled with many times over the years.  We arrived home late Friday night...totally jet-lagged and travel weary, of course.

But after a few hours of sleep, I was off on another kind of adventure. The ladies from our 'small group' don't need much of an excuse to celebrate...and since two of us had milestone birthdays recently they planned an outing. Our first stop was 'All of Oils' in Abbotsford for a oil and vinegar tasting party. Who knew that olive oil and balsamic vinegars came in so many flavours and could taste so good?  Then there was high tea at Dicken's Tea Shop...which was most delightful. Irene thought it would be fitting for us all to wear red hats...and so she supplied those. I think we may find more occasions to wear them!

Ranen was in an Irish dance competition in Surrey this weekend and did exceptionally well. We made it there in time to watch the finalists dance...and to see Ranen take home the big trophy.  Besides doing so well in all of the dance categories...she also won the trophy for fiddling. She was more than delighted...and we were proud of her, of course! 

And so the month of February comes to an end...filled with many good things.

And snow. This photo was taken early yesterday afternoon...and by evening the snow lay thick on the ground once again. I'm really hoping I won't be posting any more snow pictures in March!

Wishing you all a 'happy spring'!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow and Ice ~ February Special Edition

Just for my own memory bank...I am doing a mid-month post.  It's all about snow...and more snow. And then some. Oh yes...and a lot of ice on top of that!  Let's start with the last snow storm of this winter that began last Friday.

90 centimeters of snow is a lot.  And then it all got whipped up by the wind...

...and soon we were shoveling out from under!

Our road is considered a secondary priority road and so the graders...

...and snow plows did a great job of keeping the road open.  Elmer brought the tractor and loader to clear the driveway several times a day...as well as most of the neighbour's driveways.

Keeping a pathway to the front door was another challenge!

I shoveled it several times a day...

...but it always looked like this in a few hours!

Yup...I had my work cut out for me.

Marg came calling...and wondered why she had to crawl through a tunnel to get to the front door!

The back was even worse.  Somewhere under all that snow...we will find the pathway to the back patio come spring!

Marg thought the snow cave on the back patio was the perfect place to get out of the wind.

That has been my office window view this past week...mostly obscured by snow drifts.

The kitchen window view was quite lovely when the sun came out...

...or as it set. Listening to the wind howling was not so pleasant though!

District schools have been closed most of the week...and buses were not running. After six snow days...we heard things were going to be warming up today.

I woke up this morning to this...frosted glass on my bedroom window!

The kitchen window was the same.  Coated with ice!

The pick-up should not have been left outside for night.  It wouldn't be going anywhere in a hurry.

Everything was covered in ice.

It was rather pretty once the sun came out.

The rail fence never looked so good!

But it was a little hard to see the beauty as I looked at the mess of trees lying on the driveway. 

Three of the ten are broken beyond repair.  We listened to the sound breaking branches and crashing ice this morning...and then the  power went out. 

The ice cottage :)

And somewhere under that frozen snow bank...was the path I had shoveled clean yesterday afternoon.

I went looking for it one more time!  I am done.  No more snow. Bring on the spring! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chapter One. January ~ 2017

And just like that...the first chapter of 2017 has been written.  It was a cold one in our part of the world...with much more snow than we are accustomed to.  I just noticed that most of the photos I took this month were snow pic's...so be prepared!

Though I am a little weary of snow already...I never tire of the view of the snow-capped peaks to the east of our place.

The cranberry bog has been a frozen pond since December.

We had a lot of  'shifting snow'...

...we are still dealing with the last of the drifts around our yard...though the fields are now bare. The weatherman says we will have more on the weekend.

The drainage ditches never looked as good as they did this winter!

Unfortunately...the winds that moved the snow also took down one of our trees.  Over the years, we planted a tree for each of our grandchildren.  The twin cedars were our 'Emme and Spencer trees'...and now one of them is no longer standing.  It just so happened that the girls were staying at our place the night the tree went down.  We have a plan though.  We will remove the second cedar as well, and let the girls each choose their own tree this time.

While their parents were on vacation...Emme, Spencer and Ryder stayed with us.  Ryder would sit at the bar, having his breakfast and watching sports in the morning.  It totally reminded me of his father not so very many years ago....a tousle-haired smiling boy cozying with a blanket in the morning before getting dressed for the day.  They were a delight to have!  We played games, cooked some of their favorite foods, and had a lot of laughs. They were not a speck of trouble...

...unlike their pup who was 'holding down the fort' on the farm.  He didn't like being left behind...and decided to break through his fence.  He visited neighbours...caused trouble in the barns...and (when all else failed) was incarcerated in his kennel for the last few days. Sigh.

My milestone birthday was well-celebrated...several times over.  Bill (brother), Jeanne, Matthew and Kiley from Iowa...as well as Kathy & Jim from Manitoba came for a visit earlier this month.  We all went out for dinner one night and then to dad's for coffee.  'Coffee' turned out to be a bit of a birthday surprise...with ice-cream cake, balloons and birthday wishes galore.  How special to have my 94-year-old dad prepare everything...from setting up an extra table to finding seating in his kitchen for 15 people! Thanks dad.  That is a birthday celebration I won't ever forget.  I have had my cake and eaten it too...with friends and family!  I am still enjoying the beautiful flowers. 

Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many. 

So true!  And I have much to be thankful for.

Last week we visited Harrison Hotsprings...

...beautiful in any season!

It was the first time I recall seeing the lagoon frozen over.

I would like to end my post here.  With all the happy/lovely or just everyday things that happened in January.  But...there was something else that touched us deeply.  Good friends of ours lost their son-in-law in a tragic accident last week.  Their daughter is a young mom who lost the love of her life.  Their grandson no longer has a father. It was such a reminder to me that life can change in an instant. I need to treasure today.  Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never come.  But we have this moment today.

And here are just a few of the moments I treasured today.  Sunshine.  My kitchen view. A good friend who came for coffee.  A walk around Cheam Wetlands Park...where the pond is still frozen but so lovely.

Thanks for stopping by 'my front porch'.  Have  a wonderful February!