Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday, March 30 - a sure sign spring is coming

Conditions at 5:20 am: -8' with clear starlit skies
Expected later: 3' and a mix of sun and cloud

What a great weekend. The weather was actually pretty good and some slow melting is taking place so no risks of floods as yet. More should take place today with the sun and milder temperatures.
Saturday morning I worked after meeting Lloyd for coffee at Tim's on the way in. Well, he had coffee, I finally chose not to. Not sure why it seems so inefficiently run, but after waiting in line (there was no line, only me) for at least five minutes, I still hadn't been served by one of the seven people behind the counter. They were all bustling around but I'm not sure just what they were doing. In the end I chose to spend my time sitting with Lloyd and waited till I got to work for my caffeine fix.

All week long Lloyd's been  busy fixing our BBQ. It's facing it's 7th summer here on the island, as we bought it our first summer here. Parts of it were rusted away and it just didn't work very efficiently anymore. But we like the size, it's much bigger than most and the fact it has four burners. So he picked up some stainless steel and fashioned new pieces for
those that needed replacing. Now it works just dandy and should last at least a couple more years, if not longer. So since it was finished on Saturday afternoon, we had no choice but to give it a trial run. I had taken a smallish chicken out of the freezer to thaw, so that was our first victim. Oh, my, gosh! It was absolutely delicious. But then the first BBQ of the new year always is.  Now that it's fixed and out of the garage, on the little piece of patio stones that doesn't have any snow on it, I suspect it will be well used.

Sunday dawned a little dreary but later on in the day the sun came out and it was lovely. I spent part of the day doing mundane things like vacuuming and laundry, and making brunch while Lloyd was outside in the garage. Once my chores were done, it was out to the craft room to play for a while. Before long it was time to get ready to go to the rec centre for the volunteer appreciation dinner. BBQ steak and baked potatoes - yum. And a little too much dessert, but that was totally my own fault.

After supper the Van Gaals joined us for a trip into town for a slide show of photos taken by John Sylvester, a very well known island photographer. A good many of them brought back some great memories for Brenda and Bernie as they'd been there a couple of years ago. It was a stunningly beautiful collection and now Iceland is on our list of places to visit. The hiking trails looked really interesting as well as the rugged scenery. Not to mention the spectacular water falls.  Another location to add to the bucket list. The place was packed to standing room only so obviously it's on a lot of people's lists. Although it was surprising, when asked, just how many in attendance have actually been there.

 It wasn't a great weekend for air travel in the Maritimes. Fortunately no one we knew (at least we don't think so) was on a flight from Toronto to Halifax that made what was termed a 'hard landing'. I've experienced a hard landing before and this was obviously so much more. 23 people were taken to hospital but none with critical injuries. It's going to take some time to determine exactly what happened but thankfully no one was killed. They were very, very lucky. I'm sure it was extremely upsetting for people on the flight but whenever you can walk away from a plane crash, that's an extremely good thing. I just saw on the news, after checking for updates, that it's not considered a crash, although the photos seem to tell a different story, because the plane was being controlled as it came down. A flight no one aboard will forget for a very long time. The scary part is that's a flight that Patti often works but fortunately she was otherwise occupied. Her comment was" I guess you always have to be prepared"

Congrats to the Holly Hugh's Dance Team who participated in a competition in Burlington on the weekend. Looking good girls! (I'd share the photo but can't figure out how to get it off Instagram!)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 27th - I promise no more snow pictures!

Conditions at 5:30 am: overcast and 2'
Expected later: light rain and 2' for the entire day

Other than a light flurry yesterday morning, we don't have any additional snow. And really, where would be put it anyway?
I promised no more snow pictures as the internet is filled with lots of horrific images. But let me just give you one last shot to put things into perspective as to life out on the hill in Pisquid.

This is our storage shed. When I stand on the ground and reach up as tall as I can and stand on my tip toes, I can just barely reach the latch that's on the top of the door. I'm 5'6" tall, so average height.

I took this picture of the same shed on Wednesday, March 25th, after two days of sunny skies and milder temperatures, that are slowly starting to melt some of the snow.

Unbelievable!  Let's hope it's a long time till we see another winter like this one. But it is getting better - school buses are going to attempt to pick up as many kids as possible for the first time all week. Some roads are still in pretty poor condition.

On a brighter note, we're heading to Halifax for the Easter weekend to visit with Fran and Katy and another one of their friends. Our hotel is booked, we've made a list of places we need want to visit while we're there and Cooper has a reservation at the kennel.  As long as the weather cooperates, it should be a great weekend. The girls are flying to Halifax this Saturday and will be there a full week before we arrive next Friday afternoon, enjoying some world class curling. There will likely be the occasional visit to the casino, if I know them at all (and I think I do).

I'm eagerly awaiting my passport (which I'm glad I don't need next weekend). A call from Passport Canada on Wednesday threw a bit of a wrench into things as they needed a document I had no idea the location of. (fortunately it wasn't in the above mentioned shed)  The good news is  it did get some stuff cleared out of a storage area upstairs and the better news is that I finally found it - albeit in another spot. Now it is off to Ottawa and with any luck I should have my passport sooner rather than later. As long as it gets here by the first of May,. it will be just fine.

And speaking of travel, I've just learned that the Air Cadets in Guelph are off on an adventure that sounds pretty phenomenal. They will be leaving Guelph in a few weeks and heading off to tour:

  • Trenton National Air Force Museum
  • Royal Military College
  • Canadian Army Military Communications and Electronics Museum
  • On to New York City and a tour of Ellis Island, Liberty Island and the New York Harbour area
  • Walk  to the September 11th museum
  • Board an aircraft carrier for dinner, a tour, a movie and a sleep over on the boat
  • A stop at the National Soaring Museum on the way back to Guelph.

A pretty impressive trip that a lot of young fellows will remember for a very long time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25th - finally a bit of a break in the weather

Conditions at 5:30 am: Clear skies and -14'
Expected later: Sunshine and -2'

Well, Monday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, in spite of the fact we couldn't get out. Lloyd spent the better part of the day blowing the snow in the lane and the yard and the plow finally came by shortly after 5:00. Nothing was changed on Tuesday morning so that was a good thing.

Brenda finally arrived home on Monday as well. She was gone a little longer than anticipated but she tells me she was well taken care of by the staff at Air Canada. She had a nice hotel room, supper and breakfast and a good nights sleep before returning to the island by bus on Monday afternoon.  It was made even less stressful for her by virtue of the fact that school was cancelled both Monday and Tuesday. It may not seem so bad in town, but on roads like ours, there is no way a bus could get through, and from what I heard on the radio yesterday morning, there are still some side roads that haven't been cleared yet. So I suppose we're lucky to get out as soon as we did.

I've received Meghan's review of her experience at O Noir. Check it out:

O noir restaurant review by Meghan Dennison - age 12
When we got to the restaurant you had to order before you went into the complete darkness. Me and the mom that took me and my friends ordered the surprise dish. After we ordered the waitress took us into the dinning room. 
All the waiters and waitresses are all blind and have memorized the whole restaurant like the back of there hand.  We had to put our hands on each other's shoulders and enter the room. You would think there was like a window or a small light or something but it was totally dark. The actual restaurant was underground and you had to turn off your phones before you went in. 
We got our food and it was delicious. I got a steak and couscous.    It was SOOO amazing. Maybe even better than the keg! After that we ate our dessert. We all had chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. The cake was delicious as well as the ice cream. After we ate our whole dinner we went out of the complete darkness to pay in the same room we went into to order. 
The lights were all dimmed and your eyes kind of hurt after being in the dark so long. After waiting a few minutes we left the restaurant and carried on. 
Over all the while dinner and experience was an A+. I would definitely go back and if you're ever in the area I strongly recommend it.  :) 

If you'd like to learn more about the restaurant, check out their website. 

The menu looks amazing.
(By the way, the kitchen is lit and the cooks are NOT blind!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, March 23rd - it's Monday so we must be snowed in - again

Conditions at 6:25 am: high winds and -14' feeling more like -26'
Expected later: cloudy and -4' but feeling like -12'

What another crazy weekend. It started out great.
Friday was a pretty nice day. Lots of sun and our road
was finally cleared at least to one lane, so we were able to get in and out. Lloyd had to work a double shift so wasn't home when I got here. It was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed again Friday night after two nights at a B&B downtown.

Saturday dawned nice and sunny and I met Lloyd for coffee before work.  We invited the 'bachelors' in the area for supper Saturday night - Raymond and Bernie who were both on their own. I went with a bit of a Asian theme, starting with chinese dumplings which are usually a hit. Then we had an asian flavoured pork tenderloin, some flavoured rice and bok choy. Dessert was not so Asian - pumpkin pie and ice cream as that was in the freezer. We had a great evening and fortunately it hadn't started snowing before they left around 10:00.

Sunday morning was as expected - lots of blowing snow. It kept up pretty much all day and is still going fairly strong this morning. Brenda was due in from Halifax yesterday afternoon, on her return from Calgary but instead was storm stayed over there. Fortunately school was already cancelled for today and the airline put them up in a hotel and gave them vouchers for food. A mini vacation after the longer one. Hopefully she'll get home sometime today. The bridge was closed for a time but I think it's open again this morning, but who knows for how long. Things were so poor yesterday that at one point even the Hillsborough Bridge was closed. Not a great day.  No word yet on my work but I know I won't be there any time soon this morning as plows were off the road last night and are only just getting to the main roads. Needless to say we're fairly low on the list of priorities and ours was barely passable on Friday.  But it's okay, it's spring now, right? Sometime soon it might actually make it to our area.

( I've just returned from walking down the lane to assess the situation and it's not pretty. The one lane that was opened up on Friday is once again all filled in, making it impassable once more.)

Meghan(2) had a unique experience last week. She had dinner at O'Noir in Toronto. I've invited her to send me a little write up about it so when it's received I'll post it for you to read.

And speaking of food, we had a really great meal on Sunday evening. There was a recipe for Creamy Hummus with Spiced Lamb on top in the new Chatelaine Magazine. We tried it and it was absolutely delicious,  served with warm pita bread.

Served with an Israili Chopped Salad it was a great combination. We'll definitely be making this one again.

That's it - other than snow, not much else to report.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday, March 20th - first day of spring?????

Conditions at 7:50 am: Sunny and -8' although it feels nicer than that with no wind
Expected later: More sun and -4' , a gorgeous day on the way

Hopefully this will be the day I can go home. In retrospect I should have stayed home on Wednesday morning. The storm started mid morning and continued to intensify until they sent us home from work at 1:00.  By that time our road was impassable so I made the decision to stay in town. I found a small B&B type place downtown on Sydney Street and booked a room.

Of course I had no clothes or anything with me and the roads were deteriorating by the minute. Lucky for me the Superstore was one of the few places on the island that was still open. Even luckier for me, they sell not only food, but toiletries and clothing. So after picking up toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, socks, underwear, a pullover and some food, I was good to go.

I spent a lovely evening watching TV and enjoying my mini vacation but listening to the wind howling all night long. In the morning things were a mess yet again and work was staying closed until 10:00 so I stayed put until then. I arrived at work shortly before 10:00 to find that they weren't opening until noon, but there were some folks there and the phone was busy so I had lots to do.

I called Lloyd at 4:00 yesterday afternoon  only to find that our road was still impassable and for a second night, he wouldn't be able to get out to work either.  Well, that's just swell. So I called the lady at the place I stayed the night before and advised I needed my old room back. No problem. I spoke to Lloyd at 8:00 pm and the good news was the plow had shown up. The bad news he couldn't get through and left.

Now this morning I see in the paper that they are bringing in snow moving equipment from New Brunswick to help get all roads open by the end of the weekend.  With any luck, I might be able to get home tonight.

The other interesting fact is that so far this winter we have received a total of 497 cms of snow which makes us only 42 cms away from the record for the snowiest winter on record which was 1971-72 when snow amounts hit a staggering 539 cms.  At the Charlottetown Airport there is 159 cms of snow on the ground at this point in time. A far cry from the normal 10 cms that is usually present at this time of year.  So it's not all our imagination - it's been one heck of a winter.

Note to those travelling to warmer areas - if you  can, stay put!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday, March 18th - it certainly was't a green St. Patrick's Day

Condition at 5:30 am: -6 and overcast
Expected later: -1 with a winter storm watch - another 10 to 15 cms of snow with high winds before the day is over - Yaaay! :-(  So after being storm stayed for two days, I should actually get to work this morning

As I write the first part of this post, it is Tuesday evening around 8:00.  An insane amount of snow fell over the weekend and continued on into Monday. So much so that the island was once again, pretty much shut down. Our work didn't open so I needn't worry that I couldn't get out. Plows were trying to get around to as many places as they could but the high winds overnight Monday blew back in a lot of what had previously been cleared.

Keep in mind that there is no hill here - just snow
The sun was shining brightly most of the day on Tuesday but there was no sign of a plow anywhere in the neighbourhood. It did finally go past approximately 6:00 pm but it took over 20 stop, back up and start again before he got past our house and the next door neighbour. There was an amazing amount of snow that had blown in between the two steep banks on either side of the road.  Once that was done, we expected our regular snow clearing to take place at the end of the lane. Lloyd headed off to bed and just as I was heading out to the garage to do some work, the phone rang. Unfortunately, due to mechanical problems our neighbour wasn't able to come over. So I woke up Lloyd and asked him what we should do.

Bernie to the rescue
What can I say. Once again the VanGaal family came to our rescue. Bernie had just gotten in the house when Lloyd called him. He said he'd be over shortly and we promised to have something for him to eat when he was done. He must have been exhausted as I'm sure he spent his entire day blowing snow. He has no idea how incredibly grateful we are for his help, again. And apparently we're the winners, having the most snow.

On a brighter note, flights were back on track so Brenda should be out west by the time she reads this. Have a great time girls!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday, March 16th - okay, Mother Nature, enough all ready!

Conditions at 6:30 am: same as the last 24 hours - high winds and blowing snow. Temperature -7' but the winds make it feel more like -17'
Expected later: -9' that will feel more like -19' . The up side is the sun is supposed to come out but the winds are still to continue. We won't be digging out of this for a while yet.

The weekend started out so great. Friday was a gorgeous day and ended with our semi- weekly pizza and
beer with Brenda and Bernie. Then Saturday also dawned with bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. When I was done work I met up with Brenda at her house for a ski down in the woods. What a gorgeous day it was to be out on the trails. We went down to the river, along the edge and back over to the creek by the shop and then back home. It was so nice to be out enjoying such a glorious day. We kind of figured we wouldn't be out on Sunday and we were right.

The snow didn't start as early as predicted. Instead it was just starting when we woke up Sunday morning and that was it for the day and night. High winds and snow all day and night long. I haven't heard of any power outages as yet but I can't imagine there wouldn't be some. The bridge is closed to all traffic and the plows were pulled off the roads yesterday around 4:30 pm. They've since gone back on this morning around 6:30 but only on the main roads so there's no rush for me to get dressed and ready for work.

It's a really strange storm. When I looked out last night, the snow was quickly overtaking Lloyd's truck. Now this morning it's all blown off.  It may have changed direction but it certainly hasn't slowed down very much. But it's all good.  We have food and water, wood and power, Neflix and likely the day off. Really, does it get any better?  As long as it's all cleared away by tomorrow at 5:00 when Brenda heads out west.
I see where my work has delayed opening till 10:00 but until the plows get to the side roads, I won't be going anywhere.We'll take a walk down when it gets daylight and see just how much is there.

What a difference 24 hours can make

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday, March 13th - for the second month in a row

Conditions at 5:30 am: overcast and -12' but feeling more like -20'
Expected later: temperatures remaining the same but snow squall warnings for this morning

The weather on Wednesday was lovely. Not sunny till the end of the day but above freezing.  When I got home there were large puddles of water in the yard but as it was to go way below freezing over night I made sure not to park in them. I really didn't want to have to try to get my car out of the ice first thing on Thurday morning.  It's fairly seasonable temperatures but maybe another snow storm on Sunday. So far they're predicting 25 to 35 cm of snow - seriously!  Then more predicted for Wednesday. Hopefully mother nature times it so it doesn't interfere with Brenda's departure on Tuesday.  I know she's looking forward to her trip out west and skiing with the girls.

So it seems the Pied Piper has been found - okay, different piper.  Received this photo from Patti of James all decked out as the newest member of the Guelph Pipe Band.  He looks very happy to be in his new threads. (argyle socks are on the way) The young man does like to be in a uniform, of one form or another. Now he's all set for the competition in April.  I suppose he'll be marching in parades sometime in the future. It makes me remember when I was young and I took baton lessons. We marched in parades of all sorts but the worst were the Santa Claus Parades. We wore short skirts with tights to keep warm and needed to have bare hands to property twirl our batons, and being made of metal, they were mighty cold. But the most confusing parades were those where we were sometimes sandwiched between a brass band in front and a pipe band in behind. It was just a cacophony of noise that made no sense whatever but you just tried to keep in time with the person in front of you. Glad I was never that person, who was responsible for leading the whole group.

Meanwhile Meghan has found a way to earn herself some money during March Break. When she went to Montessori School she always enjoyed the Art Camp held there during the week off school. Now that she's in junior high, she's been invited/hired to help out with the camp. You've gotta love it when you get paid to do something you really enjoy. Good for you, Meg. Tristen usually goes to that camp. How will he enjoy being told what to do by his big sister?  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday, March 11th - let the sun shine!

Conditions at 5:30 am:  -1' and overcast
Expected later:  5' with a mix of sun and cloud

What a glorious couple of days it's been. Temperatures hovering around the freezing mark with lots of bright sunshine. It feels a little like spring, although we all know it's way too early to be looking for that. A bit of our snow has melted, the snowbanks at work are down enough that we can now see the tops  of the cars on the bypass. But if it has to melt, this is the best way - just a very little at a time.  When I stopped to get gas this morning the fellow who owns the garage commented that it won't be too long before we'll be complaining about the heat - and the bugs! But not this year...

Lloyd is looking forward to getting the windows installed upstairs in what used to be our balcony on the garage. We closed it in before the winter and we have the windows to fit in there, we just need some good weather to install them. Then we can BBQ and take our meals out there and enjoy the fresh air through the screened in windows.  How great will that be - no bugs! But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

We want a bit more time to enjoy all this snow. Hopefully we'll get out skiing this weekend. The weekend after Brenda will be away, skiing in the Rockies.  I envy her having the skills (and nerve) to do that. I've tried downhill a few times in years gone by, but never with much success. The little hills we encounter when we're cross country are enough of a challenge for me. I guess I'm just afraid I don't bounce as well as I used to.

Lloyd has finally finished his project for work. It's a box with two separate compartments that  each lock,  for residents to securely store their belongings for the day, if they need to. He's spent quite a bit of time on it but it's been a learning process both woodworking wise and finishing wise. He's intrigued with milk paint and has done lots of research on it. Lloyd being Lloyd, he ordered some online and then investigated further how to make it yourself. The outside colour is the paint he purchased and he's very pleased with the results.  He's looking forward to trying it out on future projects.  All that's missing is the upholstered cushion to go on the top and you know who, has yet to sew that. Guess I'd better get busy on it now that the rest of the project is finished.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday, March 9th - so THAT'S WHY our cooking school teacher said to always label things you put away...

Conditions at 5:30 am: clear skies and -14'
Expected later: Sunny for the morning with flurries in the afternoon and the temperature rising to -4' - not bad at all

What a terrific weekend. It started off great on Friday after work with a ticket to the Ocean 100 Women's
Kirk hamming it up in the fashion show
Show. Shortly after I got there and was in line to pick up some nibbles, I met up with a couple of girls I'd met before, although I didn't know them well. They very graciously let me sit with them for the evening of entertainment and entertainment it surely was. We laughed a lot and had a wonderful time thanks to our favorite Ocean 100 staffers. Kerry Wynne was the MC for the fashion show and Kirk and Scott, also from the morning show, were models, strutting their stuff in the latest from Mark's Work Wear. All in all it was a great night and I had a really wonderful time, so thank you ladies for letting me join you.

I got home just before 10:00 pm and was surprised that Lloyd wasn't home. He should have still been sleeping. Turns out someone couldn't work so he was called in to do the 4 to 12 shift. Needless to say when he got home around 12:30 am, I was sound asleep. But it was nice to have him there in the morning to join me for coffee before I headed off to work. 

Charles and 'Savoury'
After getting home from work, we headed out to Wheatley River to have supper with our friends Charles and Laura. We had a great evening with them, as we usually do, but the best part had to be "Savoury".  One of the sheep had triplets very recently and I suppose it's just mother nature's way of saying mama sheep doesn't have the resources to feed three babies, because she promptly rejected one little one. So Charles and Laura have been feeding her by hand with a bottle and  she's become quite the little pet. I picked her up out in the barn and she just snuggled up to me with her tiny head under my chin and when you put her down, she jumped up against you to pat her, pretty much like Cooper does. She was just too darned cute!

Sunday morning I was trying to decided what to do with my day. I had lots of options but the one that won out was to defrost the upright freezer. So everything was taken out and the ice was all melted out of the inside before everything was organized and put back.  I found an unbaked pie shell and decided it would be a good opportunity to use up some of the pumpkin I'd cooked and pureed back in the fall.  I was pretty certain that I had labeled the pumpkin containers as some of it was from our garden and some was from Brenda's pumpkins. But I found a couple that were not labeled and I just figured the tape must have fallen off. So I took some out to thaw and dragged out the pumpkin pie recipe.  I thought the filling didn't taste quite the way it should but I baked the pies and they looked okay but when we tried one it didn't quite taste like it should have. Lloyd said he thought it smelled to him like Chinese Five Spice - which is made up of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, sechuan pepper, and fennel seeds.  After some careful thought, I think I realized what I had done. I believe the pie was made with a combination of pumpkin puree and some kind of squash soup that was in the freezer. Needless to say it's a recipe that can never be duplicated.  The pie is actually okay and I had made a soup with some of the left over pumpkin so instead I made soup and pie out of pumpkin and soup. Duh - next time I need to make very sure I'm using ingredients that are what I KNOW  they are and not what I THINK they are. Fortunately in both cases they are very edible.

Backstage it's hair and makeup time

On a pleasanter note Meghan's dance team had their first competition this weekend. The girls have been working very hard and except for one little booboo in the first dance, they did very well. They came in second in the first dance and first in their other three dances so they were pretty happy.  Congrats to all of you for a job well done!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday, Mar 6th - who knew that's what it was?

Conditions at 5:30 am: bright full moon and clear sky, along with -17' that feels more like -24
Expected later: sunny and -11'

On Wednesday afternoon I was checking out a twitter message from someone in the science department at the university. It included a photo of a 'solar halo' that was taken on Sunday afternoon. As I looked at the photo, I realized we'd seen this phenomenon.

As we were driving back from Souris on Sunday after skiing, we witnessed what we thought was a rainbow, but it was a round circle, or at least almost a complete round circle, with the sun in the middle. I'd never seen anything like this and was quite intrigued. Then I ran across the info online that gave more of an explanation of  a Solar Halo

"So what is it?
Also known as a 22 degree halo or a sun halo, the ring is caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in cirrus clouds within the Earth's atmosphere
The crystals bend direct sunlight, projecting it elsewhere into the sky, and at a certain angle -- you guessed it, 22 degrees -- a halo can be seen around the sun."

 This isn't the picture we took, but it pretty much illustrates what we saw

I realize now that it may well have been a  once in a lifetime sighting, or we'll see them more often now that we know what they are and what to look for.

It's parent teacher interviews today so our favorite bus driver is off to Halifax for the weekend to visit her aunt, and get in some ski practice before she hits the Rockies!  That means I'm on my own for the weekend. I just might take a ski down the back lane on Sunday  and check out things back there.  Weather should be good this weekend.  Or I could convince Lloyd to go into town for a beer at the Old Triangle and listen to some music! Or I could spend the day in my craft room - so many choices

I guess the only other big news is I've finally taken the plunge and gone on facebook.  I've avoided it for so long but it seems that everyone is on there and that seems to be the only means of contact for some people these days. I'll try it out and see how it feels.  I really don't plan to post much on there as anything I want to say or display I put on this blog. That way those people who actually care about my pretty mundane existence can go there and I don't have to bore the rest of the world with my drivel!  (Not that I don't truly appreciate those of you who stop by on a regular basis - believe me I do. Sometimes it's what gets me out of bed on a bad morning, or just don't feel like getting up!) So thank you loyal readers - you all know who you are!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday, March 4th - it was beautiful and sunny but...

Conditions at 5:30 am: still more new snow on the ground and 2 to 4 cms more expected before noon. It's currently -10' with a windchill of -18'
Expected later: sun later on this afternoon and dare we say it: +2' for the high this afternoon. It's been a while since we saw temperatures above freezing

Well, our snow supply continues to grow.  There was no school again on Tuesday despite the bright blue skies and sunshine for most of the day. I thought I was going to be okay by skirting around the drift behind my car and backing around it. Unfortunately I underestimated the amount of snow in the lane and managed to get stuck part way down to the road. Good think I always carry my trusty shovel with me. I started digging myself out when the neighbour came by with his tractor and snow blower. He blew the snow up to the front of the car and then with a bit more shoveling and then a bit of a push from him, I was on my way. One of the advantages of having a lane that's on a downhill slope - gravity can usually do most of the work

The road wasn't too bad but once I got to the highway it was another story. The high winds were blowing lots of snow around so that sometimes you couldn't see in front of you at all. Trouble was the road was very icy as well, so that as soon as you tried to apply the brakes, you ran the risk of sliding over to the other lane, where you had no idea if there was another car coming or not. Probably one of the most tricky mornings of the season.

In town the sun was shining brightly and the wind wasn't too bad so some folks really had no idea just what things were like in the rural areas. Hopefully this morning's attempt to get out of the lane won't be a repeat of yesterday's performance.

Other than the snow, not a lot is going on, but at least it's daylight now on the way to work and the way home as well.  We know spring is on it's way, although it may not be for a while yet.  But if you look around the stores, you'd think it was already here. We were in Kent on Saturday and all the patio furniture is in place beside the shiny new BBQ's.  It's so close, and yet still so far away.

 The snowbanks continue to be a challenge for everyone, but not nearly as much as this poor fella. He was trying to clear the snow bank away from the speed limit sign on the road along side the dealership parking lot. There's quite a slope there and I suppose he misjudged just how close he was to the bank. He ended up stuck part way down the bank and partway on the road. Not a great place to be and despite his best efforts to get out, he ended up there for over half an hour while he waited for someone to come to his rescue.   I'm sure it didn't help that all the folks in our building were watching through the large plate glass window! Talk about one of life's embarrassing moments...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday, March 2nd - more stormy weather on the way?

Conditions at 5:00 am:  -5 and lightly snowing
Expected later: -1 and 5 to 10 cms of snow today and maybe more later in the week

It was a busy but great weekend. It seems spring must be on the way as it's almost like we're slowly coming out of hibernation. 

Friday night was pizza night with the Van Gaals.  It was a lovely day on Friday with lots of sunshine so you felt like getting out and doing something. Getting together with friends fit the bill perfectly. 
More sunshine on Saturday as I worked in the morning.  I met Lloyd at the grocery store before work and we did some grocery shopping then we headed our separate ways - me to work and him home to put stuff away and then have a nap or work in the garage.

When I got home I had a little bit of time before we headed back into town for Marlene's retirement get together. We went in early as Lloyd needed to pick something up at the building store for the project he's working on. Then it was off to the hotel to meet up with everyone, and there was quite a crown indeed. They had acquired a suite to host the drinks and snacks and there must have been at least 30 or more people crowded in there all wishing Marlene the best of luck. Then it was downstairs to the restaurant where we all ordered off the menu. My compliments to the kitchen staff for the fast and efficient way in which the entire meal was executed. It's quite a task to get that many people fed in a timely manner when they're all ordering something different. .Turned out the cook and one of the waitresses was actually someone Marlene and Raymond had  known a long time ago, so that was a bit of a surprise. A great time was had by all and we were all invited back to the room for drinks but we declined and left, as Lloyd was starting to fade.

Sunday was another bright sunny day, perfect for skiing. First order of business was to get my skiis out of the shed where they are stored - not an easy task with all the snow, but fortunately for me, Lloyd graciously volunteered to go out there and get them for me, so I was very grateful for that. 

We had a bit of a delayed start as the Van Gaals had company drop in, but as soon a Brenda could get away, she was over, and we headed to Souris. They have a nice clubhouse up there and we haven't tried out all the trails.  It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out in the snow. There were a few hills that were quite a challenge but I'm pleased to say that neither of us fell, even once!  So a great day was had by both.  By the time we got home, we were both pretty much done in. Lots of fresh air and exercise will do that to a person. 

I was to supposed to make fruitcake for a lady at work this weekend, but other than soaking the fruit in rum, that's as far as I've gotten. I did promise it to her for today, so I'd better get busy tonight and get it done, and hope she'll accept my poor excuses - too busy having fun!